The Jewish community of Austria has spoken out against far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, as Austrians head to the polls on Sunday.

As polls suggest the likely result of the election is too close to call, senior figures of the Jewish community have expressed concern about the impact of a possible far-right leadership, which would be the first in Europe since the Second World War.

Though Hofer's colleagues have argued that the Austrian Freedom Party, which Hofer represents in the election, is not a neo-Nazi organisation, the party was established in the 1950s by Nazi sympathisers, which will worry many as far-right groups gain popularity in Europe as well as the US.

The leader of Austria's Jewish community, Oskar Deutsch, recently endorsed Hofer's rival, Alexander Van der Bellen who stands as an independent with the backing of The Green Party.

Though some members of the Jewish community in Austria have argued that neither candidate represents them, as the Green Party takes a pro-Palestinian stance, Deutsch said Van der Bellen was "a friend of the Jewish community and Israel for many decades".

The Jewish community in Austria was decimated by the Holocaust with somewhere between 65,000-70,000 murdered by the Nazis. In the mid-1930s there were around 200,000 Jews in Austria, while the current estimate stands at around 15,000.

The Freedom party, allied with other right-wing political parties in Europe, such as Marine le Pen's Front National and Germany's Alternative for Germany, expresses pan-Germany sentiments and, as late as the 1990s, still backed some of Adolf Hitler's labour policies.

Although the party has attempted to distance itself from its anti-Semitic past, some Austrians have expressed concerns about the party's stance on immigration and Islam, for example, which Hofer says has "no place in Austria".

A message recorded by a Holocaust survivor, known as Gertrude, recently went viral after she appealed to her compatriots to vote against Hofer. In her message the 89-year-old, who was deported to the infamous Auschwitz death camp with her family at the age of 16, warned of "the humiliation of others, the demonisation of others", which she said alarmed her the most.

She said, "They bring out the basest of people – not the decent, but the indecent. And it's not the first time something like this has happened."

Voting in Sunday's election will conclude at around 5pm with the results anticipated at around 10pm.

Austrian far right Freedom Party (FPOe) presidential candidate Norbert Hofer
Austrian far right Freedom Party (FPOe) presidential candidate Norbert Hofer waves to supporters during an election rally in ViennaReuters