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Austria

  • 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 ▸

  • Austrian Leader Seeks to Rebuild Ties

    In the first visit by an Austrian head of state, President Thomas Klestil arrived here Sunday for a three-day tour aimed at improving relations with Jerusalem. Accompanied by business leaders from Austria’s 17 leading companies, Klestil said at a welcoming ceremony that he hoped his visit would mark the start of warmer ties between the… More ▸

  • Austrian Court Sentences Neo-nazi to 11-year Jail Term for Racist Acts

    Austrian right-wing activist Gottfried Kussel, widely considered the German- speaking world’s leading neo-Nazi, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Vienna court for racist activities, the World Jewish Congress has reported. Kussel, who has said the Nazi party should be re-established in Austria, was retried after his conviction last year was thrown… More ▸

  • Right-wing Parties Score Victories in Elections in Austria and Belgium

    Right-wing parties scored dramatic victories in elections held Sunday in both Austria and Belgium. In Austria, the right-wing Freedom Party won 22.8 percent of the vote, increasing its number of seats in the country’s 183-seat legislature to 42 from the 33 seats it won in 1990. The European Jewish Congress criticized the results in Austria,… More ▸

  • Young Israelis Visit Austria

    Austria’s minister for youth, family and environmental affairs, believes that Jewish youth with family ties to Austria know both too little and too much about her country. That’s why Maria Rauch-Kallat invited a group of Israelis with roots in Austria to come see the country for themselves. She extended the invitation last spring when she… More ▸