• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Masked swastika attackers strike again
File photo: APA/OÖRK

Masked swastika attackers strike again

The Local · 19 Feb 2016, 10:29

Published: 19 Feb 2016 10:29 GMT+01:00

52 year-old Robert T. from Bad Fischau near Wiener Neustadt was attacked on Thursday evening and police are describing the assault as attempted murder.

Chief Inspector Leopold Etz said that police are investigating and believe that the suspects live in the same neighbourhood as the victim and have been trying to force him and his family to move out of their home in a dispute which goes back years.

Last September Robert T., who is a shift worker, was attacked by three masked men as he cycled home during the night. His neighbour’s son-in-law was arrested and charged with the attack but acquitted after three months in pre-trial custody due to a lack of evidence.

Robert T. told the Kurier newspaper that since then he has been afraid each time he has to leave home, and always takes a different route to and from work.

In the latest attack, he was driving to work at around 3.30am when he noticed a car with its hazard lights on. A young man waved him down and asked for help, saying his girlfriend was trapped in the car but when the 52-year-old went to their aid he was hit in the back of the head and passed out.

When he regained consciousness, he was lying partly submerged in an ice cold stream with his hands tied behind his back. One of his attackers leaned over him and scratched a swastika into his chest with a knife. They told him that this was revenge for their friend having to spend three months in prison.

After they had left he managed to crawl up the bank and onto the road and gained the attention of a passing truck driver who called the police and an ambulance. He was suffering from hypothermia and police said he could easily have died.

He was able to remember the type of car his attackers were driving and part of the number plate.

Story continues below…

The attacks are darkly reminiscent of US film director Quentin Tarantino's movie Inglorious Basterds, in which a group of Jewish American soldiers punish Nazis by carving swastikas into their foreheads during World War II.

Last year the victim's house was smeared with graffiti, telling him to 'Move out'. Photo: Private

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Turkey deal 'on track' as Austria preps for migrants
The Brenner Pass. Photo: Angela Giuffrida/The Local Italy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday brushed off concerns about a landmark EU-Turkey deal designed to stem the flow of migrants to Europe after critical comments by her Turkish counterpart.

Austrian firm fires CEO after €50-million cyber scam
Facebook/FACC

Austrian aircraft parts maker FACC said Wednesday that it has fired its chief executive of 17 years after cyber criminals stole some €50 million in a so-called "fake president" scam.

Far-right party in Villach files election complaint
Johann Jaritz/Wikimedia

The local branch of Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) in Villach have filed a complaint with the country’s corruption prosecutor over the suspected manipulation of votes in the presidential election.

Salzburg court sides with beggars over police fine
Photo: Caritas

An attempt by Salzburg police to claim saying ‘please, please’ amounted to aggressive begging has failed after four beggars took their case to court and won.

Large roof fire causes traffic chaos in Vienna
Twitter/Snuup

Fifteen emergency vehicles and seventy firemen were called out on Tuesday to battle a large roof fire in Vienna that sent smoke across several districts in the city.

FPÖ claims moral victory in defeat
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: FPÖ

Austria's Freedom Party is "stronger than ever" and ready to win the next general election after its candidate narrowly failed to become the European Union's first far-right president, party chief Heinz-Christian Strache said Tuesday.

FPÖ failure shows opposition to rightward surge
Norbert Hofer, the failed FPÖ presidential candidate for Austria. Photo: Freedom Party

While far-right parties across Europe hailed the near-election of one of their own as Austrian president as a boost for their future prospects, his defeat shows that mainstream forces are still capable of rallying to keep extremists out of power.

Defeated far-right call for calm amid 'election fraud' claim
Bwag/Wikimedia

Defeated Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer asks Austria to refrain from arguing and “stick together” as some of his supporters complain that the presidential election was fixed.

Inmate ran €30K fraud scheme from Austrian prison cell
H.Moschitz - S.Partl/Wikimedia

An inmate managed to commit fraud while under the watch of wardens in an Austrian prison by posing online as a doctor who needed money for aid work in Syria.

Concert killer was neo-Nazi 'Blood and Honour' member
Photo: ORF screengrab

Police confirm identity of Vorarlberg shooter, who was a member of the neo-Nazi group "Blood and Honour".

Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Features
Refugees need practical help
Lifestyle
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Lifestyle
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Lifestyle
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
National
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
Lifestyle
How a chance meeting on the slopes led to a new business
Lifestyle
What it means to be human
Technology
How a town became a green icon
Lifestyle
Why Austria has the world's best ski resort
Lifestyle
Let them eat cake!
Lifestyle
Top tips for partying like an Austrian
Culture
Five places to learn how to cook Viennese cuisine
Lifestyle
How living in Austria will improve your lifestyle
Lifestyle
Backstage at the World Beard and Moustache Championship
Gallery
Up to 60,000 people welcomed refugees in Vienna
Culture
Can you spot an Austrian?
Lifestyle
Our pick of Vienna's best vegetarian restaurants
Analysis & Opinion
Italy's South Tyrol: where an identity crisis lingers
National
Lost on the way to sanctuary
2,396
jobs available