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  • News Analysis: Early Elections in Austria Boost Chances for Far Right

    The collapse of Austria’s governing coalition has created a significant opportunity for Jorg Haider, the country’s far-right political leader. The possibility of Haider’s strong electoral showing is particularly disturbing to Jewish observers, given the strong xenophobic and anti-Semitic views often ascribed to Haider and his Freedom Party’s supporters. After the governing coalition of the Social… More ▸

  • Trial Under Way for Wave of 10 Letter Bombs in Austria

    Under strict security measures, a trial has begun in Vienna for the wave of letter bomb explosions that occurred in December 1993 in the Austrian capital. Peter Binder and Franz Radl, suspected of carrying out the bombings, are the prominent Austrian extremists on trial as of last week. The two defendants, both 28, have been… More ▸

  • Austrian Chancellor Affirms Dedication to Nazi Victim Fund

    Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky has affirmed his commitment to his country’s $50 million fund to compensate Nazi victims, according to a letter he sent this month to the World Jewish Congress. “It is a positive development in that it lends the prestige of the Office of the Chancellor to a commitment of flexibility with respect… More ▸

  • Photo of Austrian Extremist Stays Despite Campaign at Home

    A photograph of an Austrian far-right leader will remain on display at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance here, despite a retaliatory campaign by his followers against the veteran Nazi-hunter for whom the center is named. “The picture of Jorg Haider, who recently visited the museum, will stay in our rogues’ gallery of contemporary… More ▸

  • Austria Creates National Fund As Gesture Toward Nazi Victims

    Austria has adopted a law that allows for the creation of a $50 million fund for Nazi victims. The fund, officially known as the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for the Victims of National Socialism, was created in connection with the 50th anniversary of the reestablishment of the republic as a gesture toward… More ▸

  • Austria Acknowledges Guilt in Ceremonies at Mauthausen

    Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky this week acknowledged his country’s complicity in the Nazi Final Solution and decried those who belittle the Holocaust. The chancellor also struck a strong blow against right-wing extremism in remarks at a ceremony making the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen death camp. The ceremonies took place as Austria… More ▸

  • Survey in Austria Uncovers Strongly Anti-semitic Views

    One in three supporters of Austria’s increasingly popular Freedom Party manifests strong anti-Semitic prejudice, according to the results of a new survey sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. The results are “deeply disturbing,” according to an AJCommittee official, because the party, once considered a fringe element, has entered Austria’s political mainstream. The Freedom Party, led… More ▸

  • Lead Figure of Austrian Right Stands Trial for Neo-nazi Acts

    A prominent figure of the Austrian extreme right has been standing trial here because of alleged neo-Nazi activities. Hans Schimanek, 31, was accused of being the provincial leader of a radical illegal neo-Nazi organization known as Vapo, the district attorney said. The group’s leader, Gottfried Kuessel, is serving an 11-year jail term. The district attorney… More ▸

  • Jerusalem Rabbi Visits Austria `to Create a Bridge’ to Vienna

    Austrian President Thomas Klestil hosted an official reception for a Jerusalem rabbi who is the spiritual leader of a community of Jews forced to leave Austria in 1938. Klestil used the recent occasion to issue warm words of praise for Rabbi Akiva Ehrenfeld of Kiryat Mattersdorf in Jerusalem. The two men also met last year,… More ▸

  • Austrian President Acknowledges His Country’s Role in Holocaust

    Austrian President Thomas Klestil concluded a three-day visit to Israel this week, acknowledging his nation’s role in the atrocities of the Holocaust. Addressing a special session of the Knesset on Tuesday, Klestil said full acknowledgement of his country’s complicity in the Holocaust was long overdue and that his country should do more to compensate Jewish… More ▸