President Van der Bellen said, “Nazi antisemitism and racism did not fall from the sky. They were here before, buried deeply in Austrian society. The Holocaust was the dreadful peak. Therefore, it is our strong and commonly held desire, and even our duty, to oppose any resurgence of inhumanity, racism and antisemitism decisively and without compromise. Our aim today is to allow Jewish life without interference in any place—Israel, Europe, Vienna or any other place. It is the right of the Jewish people to live in any place in peace and safety.”
Rivlin, who kicked off a diplomatic tour of Europe on Tuesday, held a working meeting earlier on Wednesday with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz. During the meeting, the president expressed gratitude for Austria’s commitment to fighting antisemitism with a new national strategy, and for its support for Israel with regard to the International Criminal Court.