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They Built a Holocaust Memorial. Then at the Last Minute, City Officials Made a 'Deeply Insult[ing]' Demand.

"[T]he very symbol that the Nazis required Jews to wear in the death camps and ghettos of Europe during the Second World deemed unfit for public display...?"

An abandoned synagogue in Greece. (Image via SteHLiverpool/flickr)

It's one of the most iconic symbols in the world — and one Greek town wants nothing to do with it.

Photo: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

City officials in Kavala, Greece, have canceled the Sunday unveiling of a Holocaust memorial because they don't approve of the Star of David carved into the monument, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

“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?” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said.

“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, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.

According to the JTA, nearly 1,500 Kavala Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

An abandoned synagogue in Kos, Greece, adorned with Stars of David. (Image via SteHLiverpool/flickr)

Other parts of the Greek government were dismayed by the news from Kavala.

“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,” said Giorgos Kalantzis, Greek minister of culture, education and religious affairs, according to the AJC's statement on the issue.

Haaretz reported that Kavala officials will only permit the display of the Holocaust memorial if the Star of David is removed.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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