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Graffiti

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On the morning of the 15th October Goodys Fast Food restaurant greeted a rainy Sunday morning with a graffiti on its front ‘Juden Raus!’ –’Get out Jews!’.  The mentality behind this is deplorable and for those of us who lived in the Depression and have memory of the German Occupation is disturbing as it says something about how little we remember , about how little we understand.  In a time of crisis, economic,social and political that we would be reminded of how Europe and its defunct morality and ethics managed to create two world wars in the 20th century is sad.  These wars  resulted in the deaths of more than 61.000.000 – people of many religions and ethnicities: Greeks, Russians, Germans,English, Yugoslavs, Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals among them. Juden Raus was the slogan of a sick and frightening ideology that emerged in the hiatus between those wars.  That this sign should be written in German is most significant; that it should be done in Crete and that nothing was done to stop the perpetrators despite the fact that Goodys is on a main street of Hania says something about how little we know of this city.  Hania was once, like Sarajevo a city in which lived Cretan Christians and Cretan Muslims,Catholics, Jews, monks and dervishes, Bengazi Arabs and Armenians…in a highly creative and active society.  The skeletal remains in the form of abandoned mosques, tekkes, churches and fountains are reminders of this time that we have seen erased in the course of our becoming Éuropean, in embracing a Europe that now blames Greece for its economic ills and failure. That this sign was written in German and not Greek says something about what we have become by linking our fortunes with a Europe about which we know equally little.