Greek Town Wants Star of David Off Holocaust Memorial

Jewish groups reported that authorities in the Greek port of Kavala want the Star of David to be removed from a Holocaust memorial or they will not permit its display.

The American Jewish Committee said Friday that its partner body in Greece, the Central Board of Jewish Communities, reported that municipal authorities had canceled a May 17 ceremony unveiling the memorial.

A Star of David is engraved into the monument. The authorities want the ancient Jewish symbol, which also features on the Israeli flag, removed before they allow the memorial’s display.

“How can it be that the eternal symbol of the Jewish people – the very symbol that the Nazis required Jews to wear in the death camps and ghettos of Europe during the Second World War – is deemed unfit for public display in Kavala?” AJC’s executive director, David Harris, said in a statement.

The memorial commemorates the 1,484 Jews in the northern city murdered by the Nazis.

“The mayor and the City Council have insulted the memory of victims, the Greek Jewish community, and Jews around the world, and we join with the Greek Jewish community in voicing our outrage,” Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, said in a statement.

The AJC statement quoted the Greek minister of culture, education and religious affairs as blasting the Kavala municipal authorities.

“As an Orthodox Christian, I feel deeply insulted by this issue, because it would be as if someone asked us to erase or modify for ‘aesthetic reasons’ the symbol of the cross on the tombs of our grandfathers executed by the Germans,” the statement quoted Giorgos Kalantzis as saying.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Greek Town Wants Star of David Off Holocaust Memorial

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close