“In the country of Hitler and Eichmann,'Hang the journalists, like with the Jews' is hardly a casual remark, out of ignorance or naiveté.”

Paris, 6 December 2013

In a letter to London Mayor, Boris Johnson, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, addressed him in his capacity as “Chair of the Local Management Committee (LMC) of the EU European Regional Development Fund.

The ERDF website states on governance that this Committee ‘makes recommendations for awarding funding.’” 

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.”