October 24 – Italian police and football authorities have opened an investigation into reports that Lazio fans left anti-Semitic stickers and graffiti, including images of famed Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing a Roma shirt, during last weekend’s Serie A match against Cagliari.
The anti-Semitic slurs were found on glass barriers, walls and toilets in a section of Rome’s Olympic Stadium and prompted an angry response from the city’s Jewish leadership.
“This is not soccer, this is not sport. Anti-Semites out of the stadiums,” Ruth Dureghello, the head of Rome’s Jewish community, said in a Tweet in which she posted a picture of the stickers.
The group of hard-core Lazio fans left slogans such as ‘Roma fans are Jews’ in a section of the shared Olympic stadium where Roma supporters usually sit .
The northern end of the stadium where Lazio’s ‘ultra’ fans sit was closed due to racist chanting during a game against Sassuolo earlier this month. As a result, Lazio, whose fans have a reputation for racism and anti-Semitism, decided to open the southern end which Roma occupy for their home matches.
Anne Frank was born in Germany but her family fled to the Netherlands to escape the Nazis. They lived in hidden rooms in Amsterdam before they were discovered by German occupiers and deported to concentration camps. She died in the Bergen-Belsen camp aged 15 and her diary recounting the family’s time in hiding became a historical piece of Holocaust folklore.
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