The Troll of the Month is an episode we choose every month to expose antisemites and to show the positive outcomes in the fight against antisemitism in Europe.
Dimitris Tsermenidis, president of the Workers Union for the Organization of Urban Transportation in Thessaloniki, is under fire for a number of antisemitic statements he made during a Union assembly on 24 June 2016.
Voria.gr reports that Tsermenidis stated that “God created the Jews by mistake, who afterwards killed Jesus Christ” and expressed his regret for the fact that “unfortunately Hitler did not finish his work”.
The Union president also made derogatory statements against Avraam Benaroya, the Jewish co-founder of “Federacion”. Federacion, founded in the early 1900, is the first workers' union in Thessaloniki and the hall of the Workers' Union Center where the assembly took place was named in his honour.
When, later on, Tsermenides denied that he made these antisemitic statements, he was caught making a new one: "The only thing I said is that God made Jews and they crucified Christ. Majorities crucified Christ just as they burned Copernicus".
The Bus Owners Association of Thessaloniki and the Workers Union “Anatropi” condemned Tsermenidis's words. According to Anatropi's spokesperson, Tsermenidis speaks against Jews almost in every general assembly of the Union and in many meetings of the Board. One more Union group, ΔΑΣ, (DAS), also confirmed Tsermenidis made these statements.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece released a statement condemning this incident of antisemitic speech and praising the groups that promptly reacted:
“We believe that we must never underestimate or overlook any manifestation of antisemitism, regardless of its extent or intensity. The condemnation must be immediate and unequivocal. In this spirit, we are satisfied that Mr Tsermenidis’ insults were not left unanswered. Specifically, both the Bus Owners Association of Thessaloniki and the Workers Union “Anatropi” strongly condemned these statements, proving that our fellow citizens have developed sensitive reflexes against anti-Semitism.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece will never be tired of condemning every antisemitic incident of offensive speech. We will keep on doing this, believing that in this way not only we defend our community, but the society as a whole, as well as democracy".