The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Anti-Jewish comments by politician

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Vienna – Far-right Austrian politicians have come under attack following alleged comments made at a ball in Vienna by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.

 

“We are the new Jews,” Mr Strache declared to guests at the event last Friday, according to Der Standard newspaper.

 

Meanwhile, Klaus Nittmann, an associate of Mr Strache, was quoted as saying “whoever works for this ball immediately gets a Jew star pinned on him” – a reference to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear on their clothes under Nazi rule.

 

Police recorded only isolated violent incidents from demonstrators outside the Viennese palace where the ball – an annual event that attracts those sympathetic to the far-right – was being held.

 

But Mr Strache was quoted as saying the violence was “like Kristallnacht”, referring to the 1938 anti-Semitic riots across Germany and parts of Austria that left streets strewn with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned property and synagogues. Austria’s Jewish community yesterday demanded that the state prosecutor investigate the comments.

 

Karl Oelligner of the opposition Green Party suggested such comments can only come from someone who “has either lost his marbles or is trying to trivialise the horrors of Nazi rule”.