In Vienna, people have taken to the street to protest a “far right” ball taking place on the same day as the international day devoted to remembering the Holocaust, the BBC reports.
organisers say that the annual WKR ball, held at Vienna’s Imperial Palace and likely to be attended by Marine Le Pen and other right wing European leaders, has always been held on the last Friday of January. However, critics say it is insensitive, considering Austria’s role in World War Two.
AFP reports that as many as 5,000 protesters are chanting “Nazis raus!” (“Nazis out!”) and holding placards with pictures of holocaust victims on.
“It is all the more regrettable and perfidious that today of all days, people will dance on the graves of Auschwitz,” Eva Glawischnig, head of Austria’s Green party, said at a Holocaust commemoration ceremony.
The ball is described by the George Jahn of the AP as being organised by “dueling fraternities including far-right members who display saber scars on their cheeks as badges of honour.” While it is traditionally held in the Imperial Palace, it will have to find a new home in 2013 due to its growing controversy.