Israeli President to Visit Vandalized Holocaust Statue in Thessaloniki



Greek PM Alexis Tsipras (L) meets Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (file photo)

Israeli media reported on Sunday that the country’s president, Reuven Rivlin, asked that his itinerary for this week’s state visit to Greece be changed so he can see a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki.

The memorial had been tampered with by perpetrators who are believed to be associated with the far-right party Golden Dawn. The words ‘Golden Dawn’ were spray painted on the base of the sculpture which commemorates the 50,000 Jewish residents of the city.

Rivlin leaves for Greece on Sunday night ahead of a three-day official visit at the invitation of President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will escort the Israeli head of state on his visit to the site.

On Saturday Greece officially marked Holocaust Memorial Day. The Foreign Ministry said a planned Holocaust museum in Thessaloniki, scene of thousands of Nazi deportations during WWII, would be part of efforts to “redress historical injustices against the Greek Jewish community”.

Thessaloniki’s Holocaust memorial spray painted with the words ‘Golden Dawn’, Jan. 2018 (file photo)

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