The jerusalem post
18:01 | 01/11/18

Austrian president seeks to reassure Holocaust survivors on government

VIENNA - Austria's president pledged to be vigilant against anti-Semitism and xenophobia on Thursday after a Holocaust survivors group expressed concern about the new government that includes a far-right party founded by former Nazis.

Last month the Freedom Party (FPO) entered government as the junior coalition partner to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's conservatives after a parliamentary election in which both pledged to stop illegal immigration and to fight radical Islam.

"For me, the coalition with the far-right FPO... poses a danger for Austria," 94-year-old Austrian Holocaust survivor Aba Lewit said in an open letter published by the Austrian Mauthausen Committee, which represents survivors of the Mauthausen concentration camp in northern Austria.

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"I will work to ensure for the duration of my tenure that destructive nationalism, xenophobia, right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism have no place in Austria," President Alexander Van der Bellen replied.

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