Uproar over rightist leader's comments about Jews

The head of Austria

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2011, leader of the Austrian right-wing Freedom Party, FPOE, Heinz-Christian Strache delivers a speech during a parliament session in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/dapd, Hans Punz, File)

VIENNA (AP) — The head of Austria's far-right party is being cited as comparing recent protests against a fancy ball that attracts extremists to the Nazis' persecution of Jews.

Vienna's Jewish community is demanding an investigation into comments by Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and other political parties have condemned his remarks. The far-right party insists, however, no harm was meant.

Police recorded only isolated anti-ball violence last Friday but Strache was quoted as saying the turmoil was "like Kristallnacht." He was referring to the 1938 anti-Semitic riots across Germany and parts of Austria that left streets strewn with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned property and synagogues.

Strache also told other ball guests on Friday "we are the new Jews."

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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