Samuels noted that “the ERDF provides significant funding through its Interregio programme to the Austrian municipality of Gföhl, a town of 4,000 inhabitants in the Krems-Land district of Lower Austria <www.gfohl.at>.”
The letter pointed to “Gföhl’s Mayor, Karl Simlinger as alleged to have stated, regarding journalists who write on behalf of asylum-seekers, that ‘they should be hanged, like the Jews.’”
Samuels emphasized that, “a Mayor in Austria—the birthplace of Hitler and Eichmann and the home of our late mentor, Nazi investigator Simon Wiesenthal - could hardly make such a remark casually, out of naiveté or ignorance.”
The Centre urged Mayor Johnson “to suspend all ERDF funding to the city of Gföhl until its City Council - on the basis of the current testimony by two of its members - takes the only possible action: to divest Mr. Simlinger of his position and proceeds to naming a new and less prejudiced Mayor.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58