Cardinal Christoph Schönborn at the Vatican April 8, 2016. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn deplored Friday an attack on a rabbi in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Writing on his Twitter account today, the archbishop of Vienna said: “I am dismayed by yesterday’s attack on a rabbi in the middle of Vienna. I assure our fellow Jewish citizens of my complete solidarity. Anti-Semitism must have no place among us. It endangers the peaceful coexistence of us all.”
The Associated Press reported that a woman in her 50s confronted the rabbi with a knife on Thursday afternoon. She kicked him in the leg, knocked off his hat, then tore off his skullcap. Before running away, she shouted an anti-Semitic threat.
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemned the attack.
“We must fight anti-Semitism with all determination. Jewish life in Austria must be possible in safety. For a Europe without Jews is no longer Europe,” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.
The Jewish community’s presence in Vienna dates back to at least the 12th century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city was one of world’s most important centers of Jewish culture.
The community was destroyed during the Holocaust. A 2001 census reported that around 7,000 of Vienna’s 1.9 million residents were Jewish, compared with more than 200,000 in the 1920s.
Thursday’s incident followed a terror attack in the Austrian capital on the night of 2 November. A gunman opened fire in the city center, near Vienna’s main synagogue, killing four people and wounding 23 others.
In a Nov. 3 interview with the national public service broadcaster ORF, Schönborn urged Austrians not to respond to the killings with hatred.
“To this blind hatred, hatred can be no answer,” he said. “Hatred only fuels new hatred.”