An Austrian diplomat serving in Israel was recalled to answer questions about his wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of a 16th-century Germanic general and the date of a major battle he won.
The Foreign Ministry in Vienna said in a statement that it had decided on attache Juergen-Michael Kleppich’s recall Wednesday after media in Austria found pictures of him wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words “Stand your ground” and “Frundsberg 1525.” The shirt is available for sale on German “patriotic” web sites.
Georg von Frundsberg won a battle in 1525 against France in Italy. In 1943, the Nazi army established a tank division named after him.
Austria’s coalition government under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the Austrian People’s Party includes the far-right Freedom Party, which was established by former Nazis in the 1940s. Leaders of Austrian Jewry say that despite its leaders’ condemnation of anti-Semitism and ejection of members caught making anti-Semitic statements, the Freedom Party has not done enough to distance itself from neo-Nazis who support it.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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