BERLIN - The mayor of the Austrian town of Gföhl said on Tuesday in city council meeting that journalists who reported on asylum seekers should be hanged like the Jews.
The Austrian news outlet Heute.at reported on Wednesday that Gföhl’s mayor Karl Simlinger expressed fury about asylum applicants who would be lodged in a planned complex.
“I don’t give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are to be blamed. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews.”
City council representatives Günter Steindl and Sabine Mai confirmed Simlinger’s statements to the news outlet Heute.at.
Gföhl is located in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, with a population of nearly 4,000.
Heute.at reported that Steindl documented Simlinger’s statements in a contemporaneous log during the city council meeting. He asked Simlinger, “Do you know what you just said?” Simlinger responded in the affirmative.
Simlinger told Heute.at that “the asylum discussion took a toll on me.”
He accused journalists of misreporting events.
Simlinger said he has to stand by his word. “I never said the word Jews. I only quoted from Duden. Mr. Steindl should be careful because that goes in the direction of defamation.“
Duden is a German word and grammar book.
Steindl and Sabine Mai said it is inexcusable that the mayor voiced “xenophobia and anti-Semitism."