Austria experienced an average of 43 antisemitic incidents per month during the first half of 2020, the WJC-affiliated Jewish Community of Vienna (IKG) found in a recent report.
Over the course of January-June 2020, 131 episodes of verbal abuse or harassment, 26 instances of destruction of property, and three physical assaults reported to authorities, the IKG learned in its study.
IKG Secretary- General Benjamin Nägele noted in interviews with local media that the study highlights only “reported cases that have been verified by our experts.”
The coronavirus pandemic is likely linked to the alarming number of incidents. In January, prior to the introduction of safety lockdowns, there were 60 antisemitic incidents reported, but in April, at the height of the pandemic, there were 23 cases reported. By June, when lockdown orders were more lenient, antisemitic incident rose to 51 for the month.
Chancellery Minister Karoline Edtstadler said in response to the report: “This number is a call to action for all of us. Because 43 antisemitic incidents per month is 43 too many.”
In late May, the Jewish Community of Vienna published a separate report which found that antisemitic incidents had increased 9.5 percent in 2019 and 2018, and more than doubled from five years ago.