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Vienna removes anti-Semitic mayor’s street name

VIENNA (JTA) — (JTA) – Vienna is removing the name of a notoriously anti-Semitic mayor from a section of the elegant Ring boulevard that encircles the heart of the city.

A city official announced Thursday that the section now known as Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring, will be renamed Universitaetsring (University Ring) in honor of the university located there.

Lueger was mayor from 1897 until his death in 1910.

His anti-Semitic policies and his use of economic anti-Semitism to win popular support were a big influence on Adolf Hitler, who lived in Vienna at the time.

Oskar Deutsch, the newly named president of Vienna’s Jewish community, praised the decision to drop Lueger’s name from the Ring.

The move, he said, should "also serve as a warning to our present politicians who frivolously and reprehensibly use anti-Semitic, racially motivated and xenophobic slogans."

He apparently was referring to the far-right Freedom Party, Austria’s second-largest political force, whose leader condemned the renaming of the street as a “scandal.

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