Austrian Mayor Who Said 'Journalists Should Be Hanged Like Jews' Resigns

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By Jack Moore | December 7, 2013 3:08 AM EST

The mayor of the Austrian town of Gföhl has resigned after shocking a city council meeting when he said that journalists who report on asylum seekers should be hanged like the Jews.

Karl Simlinger said that he was resigning after making a statement that "grossly contravenes my convictions and my personal views."

The Austrian news outlet Heute.at reported that Gföhl's mayor Karl Simlinger voiced his anger about asylum seekers who would be housed nearby in a planned building complex.

"I don't give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are to be blamed. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews."

Two city council representatives confirmed Simlinger's statements to the Heute.at outlet.

In Austria, defamatory remarks regarding Jews are a crime and it is reported that an anti-racist group will be pressing charges against Simlinger after his comments.

Gföhl has a population of approximately 4,000 and is located in the Austrian state of Lower Austria 70km northwest of the Austrian capital Vienna.

One of the council representatives documented the mayor's statements in a log during the city council meeting. He queried Simlinger's statements asking: "Do you know what you just said?" Simlinger responded in agreement.

The mayor reportedly said that "the asylum discussion took a toll on me" but accused journalists of misrepresenting the events of the discussion.

Simlinger continued: "I never said the word Jews. I only quoted from Duden. Mr Steindl should be careful because that goes in the direction of defamation."

Both the city council representatives condemned the mayor's decision to voice "xenophobia and anti-Semitism". 

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