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Antisemitic Incidents in Austria Hit All-Time Recorded High in 2021, New Data Shows

May 16, 2022

A total of 965 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Austria in 2021, an average of more than 18 weekly, marking an all-time high since the compilation of such data began two decades ago.

The statistics — detailed in a report published by the Jewish Community of Vienna’s Reporting Office for Antisemitism, which can be read in full here — showed a 65% increase in antisemitic incidents from the 585 that were recorded in 2020.

 

The report noted “it must be assumed that there is a larger number of unrecorded incidents” since “the report counts only those antisemitic incidents which were reported and which, following evaluation by the experts at the reporting office for antisemitism, were found to be clearly antisemitic under the IHRA definition.”

Of the 965 recorded antisemitic incidents last year, a majority (nearly 60%) involved incidents of “abusive behavior” — including in-person and online comments and messages, while 27% involved literature and mass mailings containing antisemitic messages and stereotypes.

Another 10% involved damage and desecration, while 2.5% involved threats and 1% involved assaults.

Broken down by ideology of the perpetrators, 48% were attributed to the far right, 15% to the far left, and 11% to Islamists, with the remaining quarter of incidents unidentified with a specific category.

Oskar Deutsch — President of the Jewish Community of Vienna — stated, “I call upon everyone to show courage when they witness antisemitic incidents wherever they occur. Antisemitism is always anti-democratic. Therefore, we are all affected by these worrying numbers.”

“We are working closely with our partners in the government, institutions, and civil society,” he added. “Through various initiatives supporting and protecting Jewish life in Austria, we are thriving as a community, and we invite all Jews to witness this miracle. The challenge of the rise of antisemitic incidents is a global phenomenon and we are working closely with all strands of society to combat the rise in antisemitic incidents.”

The full report is available here.

A military police officer is seen standing outside a synagogue in Vienna, Austria, Nov. 4, 2022. Photo: AP / Matthias Schrader.