On the night of the 28-29 December 2020, the Holocaust monument of the Greek city of Drama was vandalised with graffiti reading “Jesus Christ Conquers” and part of the marble base of the Monument was broken.
Similar graffiti was also sprayed at the nearby tobacco warehouse of Drama in North-Eastern Greece where, on March 3, 1943, the Bulgarian occupying forces arrested and imprisoned the Jews of the city before deporting them to the Nazi extermination camps.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), in its announcement of December 30, 2020, referred to its letter addressed to the Police Department of Drama, calling for the arrest of the perpetrators, as well as to its letter to the Municipality of Drama, asking for the restoration of the damages caused to the Monument, and the condemnation of the vandalism “which offends the city’s history and culture”.
“Greek Jewry with repulsion and sorrow strongly condemns the continuation of anti-Semitic attacks that derive from any kind of fanaticism and encourage intolerance. We wish the New Year to be a year of peace and prosperity, in which such phenomena will permanently and irrevocably stop”, KIS’s announcement stressed.
KIS expressed to the Mayor of Drama, Mr. Christodoulos Mamsakos, the Board’s appreciation for the immediate response of the Municipality for the restoration of the damages and the deletion of the graffiti. In his reply letter to KIS Mayor Mamsakos stresses inter allia: “With sorrow and a regret for the damages caused both to the Holocaust Monument and the tobacco warehouse in our town, I inform you that the restoration works have already started and I send you attached the relevant photographic material.
I also convey the mortification of our local society, which in its entirety condemns the barbaric destructive acts committed by isolated and controversial individuals, who do not serve the sacred humanitarian values of culture, history and traditions. They ignore that our culture, our history and our memories are humanity’s past and present. They are our heritage”.
The mayor’s letter concludes with the statement of “the repulsion and the contempt” with which himself and the people of Drama condemn this vandal attack.
-The MP of Drama Chara Kefalidou, Head of the Education, Research and Religious Affairs Sector of the socialist “Kinima Allagis” party, with an announcement on 31.12.2020, pointed out the following:
“In the past few weeks we, the citizens of Drama, have witnessed acts of vandalism, destruction of public property and desecration of Monuments related to slogans of fanaticism and hatred. These shameful acts, which no rational and civilized person is identified with, cause us horror and confusion.
All the citizens of Drama unconditionally condemn all these disgraceful acts which destroy our city, disrespect the memory of our sadly-missed Jewish fellow citizens and, ultimately, offend us, humiliate us and cost us.
We expect justice, to which the municipal authority has already called upon, to identify and punish the vile and brainless perpetrators, who vilify a whole city that passes through some of the most difficult times in its history”.
-The Greek Foreign Ministry condemned the “heinous” vandal attacks in an announcement saying:
“We condemn the recent vandalisation of the Monument to the Victims of the Holocaust in Drama and the memorial plaque at a tobacco warehouse in the city, heinous acts that are an affront to the memory of the victims of Nazi brutality and to Greek culture.
We reiterate the importance of rejecting racism, hatred and fanaticism and the need to defend our moral values”.