Vandals daub swastikas and racist slogans on Jewish and Muslim graves in Austria

Swastika on the wall at the Jewish cemetery in Hohenems. Credit: Polizei

Vandals daubed swastikas and anti-migrant slogans on Muslim and Jewish graves over the weekend in western Austria.

The perpetrators targeted the graves and building of a Jewish cemetery in the town of Hohenems, near the Swiss border. Police sources confirmed that swastikas appeared on its walls.

Swastikas and racist graffiti also appeared at a Muslim cemetery in the nearby municipality of Altach.

Police are linking this case to an earlier spate of vandalism against a refugee hostel and Jewish museum two weeks ago. Swastikas appeared on walls of the Jewish district, including the Jewish museum. The phrase “Stop the asylum flood” appeared on a refugee hostel.

Hohenems mayor, Richard Amman, had recently received a letter from far-right extremists. He is also in a legal battle over the disputed mayoral elections with a candidate from the far-right Freedom Party (FPO). The FPO had claimed victory with 43.3 per cent; but a runoff secured Amman’s election with the smallest of margins.

Back in Feburary, swastikas were daubed on the walls of a Vienna mosque,  as Austria prepared for its official Pegida-inspired march. Other recent incidents of Islamophobia and antisemitsm in Austria included an assault on two Jewish men, which included shouts of “Scheissjuden” (“Shitty Jews”).