The head of the European Parliament strongly denounced Italian football hooligans who used Anne Frank’s image to offend the fans of an opposing team, saying on Tuesday that anti-Semitism has no place in Europe today.
Lazio fans were discovered in Rome on Monday to have anti-Semitic stickers and graffiti that included images of Frank, the young diarist who died in the Holocaust, wearing a jersey of the rival Roma team. It was the latest in a long line of racist or anti-Semitic incidents involving Lazio supporters.
Antonio Tajani, himself Italian, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, that “using the image of Anne Frank as an insult against others is a very grave matter.”
Tajani said the EU must remain a place of religious tolerance where Europe’s Jewish communities feel welcome. He said anti-Semitism must be a phenomenon confined to the past.
“The Jewish communities are part of our European Union. I am proud to have fellow citizens belonging to the Jewish faith, and I think that anti-Semitism must remain only a horrible experience of our past, a horrible experience of the century that has ended,” he said.