David Guetta, a Jewish sports commentator in Italy, says 20 Italian youngsters accosted him last Thursday as he waited for a subway train in London where the soccer team of Fiorentina (Florence) played against the English team Tottenham Hotspur in a Europa League match.
On his blog, Guetta, who is known as the radio “voice” of the Florence soccer team, wrote: “They recognized me and started to chant ‘David Guetta, a train for Mauthausen awaits you,’” he wrote. The chant rhymes in Italian.
He wrote that the youths who accosted him “almost certainly do not really know what happened at Mauthausen. Or at Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka.” Guetta added that he would have liked to have had the encounter in Florence, “in front of the memorial plaque that recalls the Florentines who left with these trains that today they want for me, and who never returned.”
Racism and anti-Semitism by militant soccer fans has posed a problem in Italy for many years.
Thursday’s incident was not the first time that Guetta, who has provided the radio match by math for Fiorentina for more than 30 years, had been subjected to anti-Semitic slurs.
“My response to these totally imbecile manifestations was to re-join the Florence Jewish community, after 14 years,” he said, despite not being an observant Jew himself.