News and Commentary

Some Anti-Semitic Italian Soccer Fans Mock Tribute To Anne Frank

On Wednesday evening, Italian stadiums where soccer matches were being played observed a minute of silence, followed by excerpts from Holocaust victim Anne Frank’s diary being read through loudspeakers. Players wore T-shirts with the slogan “No to anti-Semitism,” with a picture of Anne Frank emblazoned on them; copies of Frank’s diary were distributed to fans in the stadium.

But in Turin, some anti-Semitic fans protested by turning their backs to the field and singing the Italian national anthem, according to the BBC and Italian media.

More anti-Semitism arose this week in Italy when at least 15 supporters of the Lazio soccer club created and distributed pictures of Anne Frank wearing a rival team’s jersey, with anti-Semitic banners. Last Sunday, stickers showing Anne Frank and reading “Roma fans are Jews” along with more anti-Semitic content were found in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

Earlier this year, a judge refused to convict Lazio fans who called rivals “Jewish” in order to disparage them; other anti-Semitic slogans connected to the Lazio soccer club were displayed here:

Meanwhile, Lazio’s ultras fan club encouraged its supporters to boycott Wednesday’s match; the club defended the anti-Semitic stickers, asserting that it was just “a few lads joking around,” according to the Local.

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