Austrian Mayor resigns over call for journalists to be hanged like Jews

Mayor of the city of Gföhl is furious about asylum seekers, blames journalists for reporting on them.

December 7, 2013 04:19
1 minute read.
Gfoehl city mayor Karl Simlinger.

Karl Simlinger 370. (photo credit:


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BERLIN – The resignation of conservative mayor Karl Simlinger on Friday ended an alleged racism and anti-Semitism scandal over crude statements targeting asylum seekers, Jews and journalists.

Simlinger, who has served as the mayor of the small town of Gföhl since 1997, said the last thing he wanted to do was to “injure people.”

The mayor allegedly said during a city council meeting on Tuesday, “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.”

Simlinger acknowledged in his resignation letter that he was livid during the council meeting about a plan to build a residence for asylum seekers.

While he did not specifically address his alleged remarks about Jews and journalists, he said he made a statement that “contradicts my personal views.”

He apologized and said he plans to end his term at the end of this year.

Simlinger is a member of the Austrian People’s Party.

The Austrian news outlet reported on Wednesday that Simlinger denied his statements about hanging Jews and journalists. He contends that he said, “Journalists only quote from Duden.”

It is unclear what he meant by his reference to the German language dictionary and grammar book Duden.

However, two city council representatives said it is inexcusable that the mayor voiced “xenophobia and anti-Semitism.”

The Mauthausen Komitees, an organization named after the Mauthausen concentration camp, which provides pedagogical programs to combat anti-Semitism and racism, filed a criminal complaint against Simlinger for inciting hatred.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery