A short while ago, artist David Tartakover was invited to submit an entry for a poster exhibit organized by the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO) in Athens, which is under the aegis of the Greek interior minister. Tartakover, an Israel Prize laureate, blew up the first page of his grandfather’s passport and printed the following words on it, in English: “On October 21, 1938, my grandparents left Vienna, Austria, for Palestine.” Austria had been annexed to Nazi Germany a few months earlier. The passports of David and Rebeka Tartakover bore the swastika and the letter “J,” in red, identifying them as Jews.
IMEPO was very impressed with the poster, but refused to display it. The institute’s president, Alexander Zavos, expressed his regret and wrote to Tartakover in the following letter: “I am afraid we live in a country that is in a socially critical situation right now and there are tensions everywhere. There are street riots, there is instability and we’re afraid of reactions.