Antisemitic Incidents in Austria Rose to Highest-Ever Recorded Level in 2020, New Report Shows

A police vehicle is seen in Vienna, Austria.

April 28, 2021

Antisemitic incidents in Austria rose in 2020 to the highest-ever level since official data on the issue began being recorded two decades ago, according to a new annual report.

The study — published by the Jewish Community of Vienna’s Antisemitism Reporting Office — found there were 585 antisemitic incidents last year, a 6.4% increase from 2019.

The rise was at least partly fueled by protests against Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions, which have featured Holocaust relativization and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

“Wild antisemitic lies were spread especially on the internet and at many demonstrations,” President of the Jewish Community of Vienna Oskar Deutsch stated. “Such words can lead to a conflagration of deeds, if we do not confront them.”

Broken down by motive, 40% of the incidents were associated with a right-wing ideology, while 15% were tied to the left, and 1/3 were “not possible to assign.”

Abusive behavior, including online harassment, made up 62% of the incidents.

There were 11 cases of physical assault, 2% of the total, up from 6 the previous year.