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Vandalism The memorial to the Greek Jewish children killed in the Holocaust was vandalized. Athens, June 2012.

12 cases of xenophobic vandalism have been recorded in 2014 (4 in 2013). Most were anti-Semitic in nature, as well as anti-Muslim and anti-fascist. Most likely this is due to government’s strict positions towards Golden Dawn’s actions, which made nationalists move to “safer” acts – vandalism. Several such cases are listed below:

In late May, vandals entered the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki and desecrated the historic necropolis, overturning and smashing several monuments and tombstones.

On June 27, anti-Semitic graffiti appeared on a memorial of Holocaust victims in Athens.

On October 31, the memorial was desecrated again.

On December 8, vandals desecrated a memorial at the Jewish cemetery in Thessaloniki.

On December 12, 5 people fired 54 shots at the Israeli Embassy in Greece.

On December 25, unidentified vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery in Larissa, leaving behind swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans.

On January 25, around 100 Golden Dawn supporter attacked the social centre controlled by the Anarchists in the proletarian suburb of Piraeus in Athens. The attackers shouted fascist slogans and hurled metal objects at a building, causing damage to one of the apartments.

On April 4, Golden Dawn supporters attacked a clinic for poor people and migrants, shouting “Blood, Honour, Golden Dawn” and “Migrants – go home!”.

On August 2, around 50 Golden Dawn supporters were distributing leaflets in Acropolis. Hand-outs contained the following text, “The party is suffering from political persecution”. Several hours earlier, supporters of the party threw rocks at the Anarchist rally.

On August 16, Golden Dawn activists trashed the Open School for Immigrants in Piraeus.

In April, unknown vandals planted a pig’s head at a Muslim family home in Avntos.

On October 17, unknown vandals painted the entrance and fences of a Muslim centre in Athens and laid a pig’s head at the door. They also painted a Christian Cross on the entrance.

In 2015, there were at least 11 incidents of vandalism against autonomous centres, places of social solidarity, properties of immigrants and monuments, most characteristic of which was the desecration with swastikas of the monument of Pavlos Fyssas in Keratsini. Mayor Dimitra Tsanaka, said that she objected to the presence of the Star of David on the monument out of concern that the symbol would become a target for vandals. Twice in three months’ span, unidentified perpetrators desecrated the monument of anti-fascist musician Pavlos Fyssas with swastikas and Nazi symbols. The monument is in Keratsini and was created by Stathis Alexopoulos. It’s noteworthy that the monument was desecrated again in February, when fascists sprayed swastikas and wrote fascist slogans, signed by “C-18”, which is the signature of the British neo-nazi organization “Combat 18”. Combat-18 has been accused of perpetrating a series of murders of immigrant people and citizens with a darker skin tone.

A few days later, the Nazi gang “Combat-18 Hellas” claimed responsibility by a text posted on their blog.

In 11 of June at Pafou Square, in the center of Athens, the plaque erected in remembrance of and tribute to the 13.000 Greek children who were deported and exterminated in the Nazi concentration camps for the only reason that they were born Jewish was desecrated.

In June, after two weeks since its inauguration the much-disputed Holocaust Monument in Kavala was desecrated with an amount of paint thrown at it by unknown vandals. Though guarded by the police during the night, the Monument was found in the morning of Sunday June 21, 2015, covered with light blue paint.

On October 9, 2015, unknown criminals defaced the mosque in Komotini in Thrace, spraying the word “Turks - won” on the front door.

Due to the initiation of criminal proceedings and then in view of the trial against the Golden Dawn party in 2018-20, vandalism cases became fewer, but they still continued. For example, vandalism of Holocaust monuments and memorials took place in the city of Thessaloniki. On January 25, 2019, unknown assailants vandalized a monument dedicated to the site of a former Jewish cemetery on the Aristotle University campus in Thessaloniki. On January 28, Archbishop Hieronymos of the Greek Orthodox Church publicly condemned the attack, describing the "desecration and vandalism of synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials" as "disgusting acts that severely offend our history, culture, nation and faith."

On April 10, miscreants vandalized two metal plaques near the port area of Thessaloniki, dedicated to people who died during the Holocaust. Another incident was recorded at the Trikala Holocaust Memorial. Also on the same day there was an attack and desecration of a Muslim cemetery in Alexandroupoli, a city near Turkey.

The peculiarity of these incidents is that the targets are not individuals of the Jewish or Muslim community, but through the desecrations a message is sent to the entire community. However, the imprint of these attacks is broader and goes beyond the Jewish or Muslim community, as it touches any community with different traits that is nevertheless part of society. As an example, the Council of Europe Secretary General Maria Pejcinovic-Buric said that Europe is facing a shocking reality where anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and other racist hate crimes are increasing at an alarming rate. In the case of the desecration of the Muslim cemetery, the perpetrators left behind Golden Dawn leaflets as well as spray-painted symbols of the organization, such as the "Target" and the ancient Greek meander. These incidents are further evidence of the actions of organized extremist groups. In fact, the organizations that claim responsibility for these crimes seek to increase their presence in the neo-Nazi field and send a message to society about their actions, either to attract new members or to intimidate those who do not share their ideology.

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