The Athens Holocaust Memorial has been desecrated for the second time this year, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. Vandals spray painted the logo of ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi group, Unaligned Meander Nationalists, on the monument on Tuesday.
The same group vandalized the Holocaust Monument on the island of Rhodes in October 2012.
The Greek Jewish community immediately condemned the act and stressed the Greek authorities' responsibility to protect the monument.
“We call upon the municipal and state authorities to effectively protect the Holocaust Monument of the capital, in order to avoid repetition of such phenomena,” said a joint statement from the Jewish Community of Athens and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
The Jewish community also called on Greek authorities to “put into motion all necessary procedures so that the perpetrators – those whose hateful and violent actions offend the dignity and the cultural heritage of the city – be apprehended and punished.”
Tuesday's incident represents the second time the Athens monument has been desecrated this year. Vandals painted threats against the Jewish community on it in June.
According to The Associated Press (AP), police said marble ornaments were smashed off 12 graves, while vandals also tried to remove the tombs' heavy marble covers.
Athens' Holocaust monument, which was erected in 2010, commemorates the more than 60,000 Greek Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Only about 5,000 Jews remain in Greece today.
A recent Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey determined that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes. 69 percent of Greeks espouse anti-Semitic views. This is nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, with 37 percent of citizens holding such views.