Corona demos: Austrian minister regrets growth in anti-Semitism

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Corona demos: Austrian minister regrets growth in anti-Semitism © Valeria Mongelli / dpa

Austria’s Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler has reported a massive increase in anti-Semitic incidents at demonstrations against corona measures.

Vienna (dpa) – “We see anti-Semitic incidents on the street in the middle of our society,” said the ÖVP politician at a press conference on Monday. With symbols and slogans, demonstrators equated the Nazi persecution of Jews with the mandatory vaccinations that came into effect in February.

In a few weeks, the Jewish community wants to announce the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Austria in the previous year. “Due to the Corona demonstrations, the numbers will be incredibly high – numbers that are difficult to live with,” warned Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community in Vienna. In the first half of 2021, 562 cases were reported – about as many as in all of 2020.

Deutsch criticized the fact that the right-wing FPÖ did not distance itself from tendencies that played down history among opponents of compulsory vaccination and restrictions on the unvaccinated. FPÖ party leader Herbert Kickl, who supports the protest movement, argued at the end of December that National Socialism had also begun to exclude people. On Monday, the FPÖ politician Marlene Svazek commented in an interview on demonstrators with Jewish stars: “Anyone who draws such a comparison is not glorifying National Socialism, but is expressing their concern for democracy and fundamental rights. (dpa)

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