The former mayor of a village in Austria has resigned following an uproar caused by his statement in favor of hanging Jews and journalists.
Karl Simlinger, who ran the village of Gfohl, which is located 43 miles northwest of Vienna, resigned Friday, the news agency Novum reported.
Simlinger made the statement on Tuesday night during a town hall meeting, according to the news site tips.at.
“I don’t give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are at fault. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews,” he was quoted as saying. Simlinger denied making the comment at first, before releasing a statement on Friday in which he confirmed making the statement.
“It wholly runs contrary to my worldview,” he wrote in the statement, in which he said he would resign. “It was not my intention to cause offense and I apologize unreservedly.”
On Dec. 5, Willi Mernyi, the chairman of the Mauthausen Committee, a nongovernmental agency devoted to Holocaust commemoration, said he had petitioned the Austrian federal prosecutor’s office to prosecute Simlinger for alleged violation of Austria’s laws against racial hate speech, the OTS news agency reported.