Holocaust memorial in Athens with Elie Wiesel inscription is vandalized


(JTA) — Vandals stripped away inscriptions on the Holocaust memorial in Athens written by Elie Wiesel.

The attack on the memorial, commemorating the more than 60,000 Greek Jews killed during World War II, took place on Saturday, according to the English-language Greek Reporter.

Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who would go on to become a renowned author and Nobel Prize winner, wrote the inscription especially for the engraved plaque. It was written in Greek, French and English, but only the English inscription remains.

“Elie Wiesel’s appeal to the passer-by to stand, to remember, to honor the victims of the Holocaust was turned into an act of vandalism, disrespect, insult,” said Minor Moisis, president of the Jewish community of Athens, according to the European Jewish Press. He said the memorial will remain open and accessible to the public

The memorial, which was designed by Greek American artist DeAnna Maganias, was erected in 2010. Located in a small park overlooking the Keramikos archaeological site, the memorial features pieces of a broken marble Magen David, each representing a lost Greek Jewish community. The names of the communities are engraved in the marble piece pointing in the direction where they once existed.

About 5,000 Jews now live in Greece.

Saturday’s vandalism is not the first time that the memorial has been desecrated. In 2014, threats against the Jewish community were spray-painted on the monument and several months later the logo of the ultranationalist group known as the Unaligned Meander Nationalists was spray-painted in blue on the memorial.

Recommended from JTA