ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Graffiti scrawled on the Holocaust memorial in Athens included threats against the Jewish community.
Police have opened an investigation into Friday’s vandalism, according to Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
The graffiti included a purported quote from the Talmud saying that Jews who convert should be put to death and threats that the synagogue in Athens would be destroyed.
“Regretfully, 70 years after the end of World War II, which left millions of victims of bigotry, racism, Nazism and anti-Semitism behind, there are people beyond redemption aiming at terrorizing us by molesting the memory of our brothers, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Jewish community issued Monday.
“They will not succeed in intimidating us,” the statement said.
Erected in 2010, the monument commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Today only about 5,000 Jews live in Greece.
The incident comes several weeks after vandals desecrated the Jewish cemetery in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
A recent Anti-Defamation League survey showed that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That is nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, with 37 percent.