(JTA) – A group of some 20 men making the Hitler salute and shouting anti-Semitic slogans assaulted an Orthodox Jewish man in Zurich.
The July 4 incident on a main street in the Swiss capital’s Wiedikon district was only reported recently in the national media in Switzerland following the completion of an initial investigation into the case, the Tele Zurich reported Sunday.
Two leaders of the group spat in the victim’s face and pushed him before police, alerted by passers-by, intervened, according to the Sonntags Zeitung daily. The officers asked the men to leave the victim alone, according to the Zeitung.
The unnamed victim, who is in his 40s, was on his way home from a local synagogue when the attack happened, the daily reported. Police would offer no further information, citing an ongoing investigation.
Switzerland’s Federation of Jewish Communities said in a statement that the incident was “highly unusual and frightening.”
The alleged leader of the neo-Nazi gang has been referred to in the Swiss press as Kevin G., 27, from Hombrechtikon, a village in the Zurich Oberland area. He is a singer with the far-right rock band Amok.
Herbert Winter, president of the Jewish federation, said the incident was disconcerting because it risks worsening already prevalent fears.
“There are parents who instruct their children not to wear a kippah or hide it under a baseball cap on their way to school,” Winter told the Blick daily.