Italian authorities in Tuscany are investigating an attack on a 12-year-old Jewish boy who said teenagers kicked him, hit him on the head and hurled antisemitic abuse at him.
The boy’s parents on Tuesday reported the weekend attack in a park near their home in the town of Campiglia Marittima, near Livorno, according to a statement from town officials.
Florence daily The Nation reported that the assailants told the boy: “You need to be quiet because you are Jewish,” and used other demeaning and insulting language. They also said “you should die in the oven,” a reference to World War II Nazi death camps where Jews were murdered and their remains burned.
The boy’s father told the paper that nobody intervened on his son’s behalf.
The mayor of Campiglia Marittima, Alberta Ticciati, said video recordings from the park were being reviewed by investigators.
“The boy is in shock,” Ticciati told SKY TG24 Wednesday. ”Gestures of this kind must be handled with firmness. They cannot be permitted. It is not explicable.”
Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor who is senator-for-life, expressed indignation over the attack.
“These are things that amaze me, but unfortunately I am used to it,” said Segre, who was placed under police protection after receiving threats several years ago. “History repeats itself,” said the 91-year-old, who was deported from Italy at the age of 13.
Antisemitic incidents have been on the increase in Italy, in particular over the last half dozen years, according to a database compiled by the Milan-based Center of Contemporary Jewish Documents’ Observatory on Anti-Jewish Prejudice.