A sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Austria over the past few weeks have sparked concerns of a spillover of the Israel-Hamas war in the central European nation.
Days after an arson attack in the Jewish section of Vienna’s central cemetery, thousands of people gathered in the Austian capital in a show of support for the local Jewish community.
On Wednesday night, a fire destroyed the entrance lobby to a ceremonial hall in the cemetery. Swastika symbols were also sprayed on external walls. There were no reported injuries.
“It’s really a despicable act,” said Oskar Deutsch, a community leader in Vienna.
Anti-Semitic acts have multiplied in Austria since the October 7 Hamas attack, according to Benjamin Nagele, secretary-general of the Jewish community in Vienna.
Austrian authorities have raised the country’s terrorism alert level to “high” since October 18 and have increased protection of local Jewish institutions.
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