A rabbi was the target of anti-Semitic insults by football fans in Vienna who greeted him with 'Move, Jew - Jews Out. Heil Hitler,' their armq raised in a Nazi salute.
The incident took place last Thursday in Vienna's city centre, ahead of the Europa League match between Rapid Vienna and the Greek team PAOK Saloniki.
Rabbi Schlomo Hoffmeister said he asked police officers who were watching from a few metres away to intervene, but they just said: “Come on, it's a football night.”
A police spokesman said investigations were underway to find the officers and the football fans.
“Anti-Semitic insults in the streets of Vienna are common place, but when it happens in front of the police, it is unprecedented. The fact that the officers did nothing about it and even smiled is an experience that left me in shock,” the rabbi said.
The incident took place two days after a rabbi was attacked and seriously injured in the streets of Berlin by four youths of Arab background who insulted him and threatened to kill his six-year-old daughter.
In a letter to Austria’s Interior Minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Simon Wiesenthal's Director for International Relations, Shimon Samuels, pointed to the police indifference as "arguably an Austrian violation of its obligations under EU and Council of Europe anti-discrimination provisions."
"Law enforcement cannot be neutral in the face of hate-crime. This is too reminiscent of the 1938 Kristallnacht Reichspogrom in Austria. A policeman who betrays the victim is accomplice to the perpetrator", he wrote.