A prominent Austrian politician has reportedly referred to members of his far-right Freedom Party as “the new Jews.”
Hans-Christian Strache made the comment in conversation with representatives of right-wing student unions who had gathered in Vienna, according to a report in Der Standard.
Strache was apparently referring to the heckling that some students endured while entering the meeting venue. Freedom Party officials said that that the protests against far-right students recalled “horrible reports about the disastrous Nazi era,” but that its leader did not mean to belittle the suffering of the Jews.
During the last election, in 2008, the Freedom Party, formerly led by the late Jorg Haider, received 17.5 percent of the vote. Austrians will go to the polls again next year.