Graffiti likening Josh Frydenberg to Adolf Hitler has been scrawled on campaign signs in Kooyong in an attack condemned by the Treasurer as “cowardly” and “unacceptable”.
“Regardless of one’s political persuasion, vandalism is unacceptable,” Mr Frydenberg, who is Jewish, said on Thursday.
“It’s one thing for these cowards to graffiti a sign, but it’s another thing altogether to invoke the horrors of the Holocaust and the evils of Hitler and the Nazis. These people should be ashamed of themselves.”
The graffiti, which has appeared on at least four outdoor display ads in the inner-Melbourne electorate, depicts Mr Frydenberg with a Hitler-esque moustache and devil horns. Writing on one defaced sign describes him as a “right-wing fascist”.
Mr Frydenberg’s mother Erica Strausz was born in Hungary in 1943 when the country was under a fascist regime and survived the Nazi occupation of the country before arriving in Australia as a refugee. Mr Frydenberg’s father, Harry, is also Jewish.
Peter Wertheim, the co-chief executive of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry which monitors anti-Semitism, said the vandalism spoke volumes about the perpetrators.
“This is hardly the usual post-budget political commentary. It was despicable for whoever did this to latch on to the happenstance that the Treasurer is Jewish,” Mr Wertheim said.