The mobile phone video, uploaded on Friday to YouTube, has already been viewed over 14,000 times and has numerous comments asking why none of the other passengers defended the black man who was subjected to the verbal abuse.
The video shows how an older Austrian man, who appears to have been drinking, insults a Somali man who is standing the other side of the carriage. The Austrian calls him a filthy n****r swine and threatens to knock him over, asking repeatedly “What are you doing here?" and telling him to “go back to the jungle”.
None of the other passengers on the tram intervene and all seem to be looking the other way – apart from the person who filmed the incident.
The Wiener Linien transport company has said that in cases of verbal or physical abuse, passengers should inform the tram or train driver, who would then call the police and ask people to leave the tram.
“In this case the driver doesn’t appear to have noticed what was happening – perhaps because it was at the back of the tram, and the older trams are very noisy. This shows the need for civil courage,” Wiener Linien spokesman Michael Unger told Vice magazine.
Vienna is often lauded for its quality of life, but racism is a problem in the city and there is a growing backlash against immigration.