An Italian politician has been suspended by his party after he made what appeared to be jokes about the Holocaust.
Councillor Giorgio Longobardi, who represents Naples for the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) Party, joked that the rival Democratic Party wanted to show Holocaust films, including Schindler’s List, Anne Frank’s Diary, The Pianist, and Life is Beautiful, on television prior to the upcoming general election, which would be, he claimed, “interspersed with insights and testimonies from Holocaust survivors”.
Mr Longobardi later defended himself, releasing a statement which said that the councillor has “never made fun of the tragedy of the Holocaust” and his comments were “aimed only at highlighting the means that the left uses in the electoral campaign.”
A joint statement released by the Italy-Israel Federation and Naples’s Jewish community said that Mr Longobardi’s comments were “offensive to the memory of six million Jews” and accused the councillor of at one point “plaster[ing] his office” with posters praising Benito Mussolini, Italy’s former fascist dictator.
Campaign Against Antisemitism reports on news and incidents relating to antisemitism incidents in Italy which have markedly increased according to a recent report.