Activists in Austria published a so-called “Judenkarte” on the internet, on which addresses of Jewish institutions in Vienna could be found and marked with a yellow Star of David.
The anonymous group, which goes by the name of “League Of Ordinary People Austria” wanted their map to be understood as a protest against the “Islamkarte”, a map of Muslim sites which had been making headlines and drawing criticism in the country since June.
The activists announced that they would expand the map to the whole of Austria in the coming days and that they would only removed it if the Islamkarte was renewed.
Commenting on the incident, Benjamin Nägele, Secretary General of the Jewish Community Vienna (IKG Wien), declared that the map is “petty activism at the expense of Jewish community”, adding that “legal steps against the authors are being examined.”
After it had been online for a few hours and had drawn sharp criticism on social networks, the map itself was removed and links to Jewish institutions appeared instead. The activists emphasised that they had only been using publicly accessible data.
It is unclear who is behind the publication. More than an email address and a false name are not known; the project is hosted by a provider in Great Britain who promises customers extensive anonymity.
It can be assumed, however, that the group belongs to left-wing circles. Before the “Judenkarte”, they wanted to put a map of politicians online, on which the private addresses of all politicians of the government were to be leaked to the public.
The latter map project was not published after was it was vetoed by the authors themselves. Nevertheless, further maps were announced, such as a so-called “paedophile map” of Catholic institutions and a map visualising far-right associations and student fraternities.
The publication of the “Judenkarte” has caused much concern in the Jewish community, especially as hostility towards Jews has increased considerably in recent years. The IKG’s annual report on antisemitism published in April spoke of a “year marked by violence”. Last year there were at least 585 antixemitic incidents in Austria.
In addition to physical attacks on the president of the Jewish community in Graz and a rabbi in Vienna, the report also mentions the Islamist terrorist attack on 2 November, which started at the main synagogue in Vienna and killed four people and injured 23, some of them seriously, in the surrounding nightlife area in Vienna’s city centre.
According to the report, the security authorities now assume that the Jewish community was a target of the attacker. The main synagogue was also marked by the “Judenkarte” activists.