Neo-Nazis attack Orthodox Jew on Zurich street

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A group of neo-Nazis harassed, threatened and, finally, assaulted an Orthodox Jew in Zurich, Switzerland’s Jewish community reported.

The incident happened earlier this month but was only recently reported in national media in Switzerland, following the completion of an initial investigation into the case, the Tele Zurich reported on Sunday.

A group of about 20 far-Right thugs made a Hitler salute and shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the victim on a central street in Zurich’s Wiedikon district at around 6 p.m. on July 4, according to the Sonntags Zeitung daily.

They made the Nazi salute as two leaders of the group spat at the man in the face and pushed him. At this point, police, alerted by passersby, intervened. However, they did not arrest the perpetrators, opting instead to merely ask them to leave the victim alone, according to the Zeitung.

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The victim, a man in his 40s who was not named, was on his way home from a local synagogue when the attack happened, according to the daily. Police would offer no further information, citing an ongoing investigation.

Switzerland’s Federation of Jewish Communities said in a statement that the incident was “highly unusual and frightening.”

The alleged leader of the neo-Nazi gang has been referred to in the Swiss press as Kevin G., 27, from Hombrechtikon, a village in the Zurich Oberland area. He is a singer with the far-right rock band Amok.

Herbert Winter, president of the Jewish federation, said the incident was disconcerting because it risks worsening already prevalent fears. “There are parents who instruct their children not to wear a kippah or hide it under a baseball cap on their way to school,” Winter told the Blick daily.

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