Athens Jewish cemetery vandalized, neo-Nazi group claims responsibility


ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — The main Jewish cemetery in Athens was vandalized with swastikas and anti-Jewish graffiti.

“F*** Jews” and a Nazi swastika was sprayed on one of the cemetery walls on Wednesday night. A swastika and the German word “Raus,” meaning “get out,” along with the tag C-18 was sprayed on the cemetery gate pillar.

C-18 refers to Combat 18 Hellas, a small neo-Nazi group operating in Greece. The group posted pictures on its website and claimed responsibility for what it called the “beautiful artistic intervention at the Jewish cemetery.”

The Jewish community of Athens in a statement condemned the vandalism perpetrated by “cowardly Nazis” and called on Greek authorities to find and prosecute the perpetrators.

Greek society must condemn the attack, the statement said, because “tolerance of these phenomena affects the whole society.”

The cemetery, in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Athens, serves the current Jewish community. There is an ancient Jewish cemetery in the heart of Athens.

Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials in Greece have seen a spate of vandalism incidents in the past year.

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 of the next highest country, France, with 37 percent.

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