Austria

  • At Tumultuous Time, Haider’s Death Removes a Key Player in Austria

    The death of Joerg Haider, a controversial and charismatic right-wing politician in Austria, has removed one of the country’s key players at a time of political turmoil following unprecedented far-right gains in last month’s general elections. Haider, 58, was killed early Saturday when he lost control of his car and crashed while passing another vehicle… More ▸

  • Austria’s Oscar Nominee Explores Jewish Dilemma During the Shoah

    Much of the Jewish Oscar buzz is focused on director Joseph Cedar’s “Beaufort” and the chances of an Israeli film picking up an Academy Award for the first time. But another Jewish themed film — the Austrian-made “Counterfeiters” — is also up for foreign-language Oscar honors, along with three other movies. Set in 1943, the… More ▸

  • Vienna Courts Will Make the Call on Expulsion of Anti-zionist’s Kids

    Moishe Ayre Friedman’s children may be paying for the infamy of their father, an anti-Zionist Jew who attended a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. Five of his children were expelled from their private Orthodox Jewish school in Vienna about a month after Friedman, dressed in Chasidic attire, was shown in media outlets worldwide warmly shaking… More ▸

  • In Austria, the War in Lebanon Provided Fodder for Anti-semites

    Right-wing Austrian firebrand Joerg Haider has emerged with a vengeance in the wake of Israel’s war with Hezbollah, calling Vienna’s top Jewish leader a “Zionist provocateur” and demanding the ouster of Israel’s ambassador. Commentators agree that Israel’s monthlong war with the Lebanese terrorist group emboldened the extreme-right segment of Austrian society that Haider represents, which… More ▸

  • Austrian Survivors Get Some Closure with Reparations and Returned Paintings

    The expulsion and extermination of 182,000 Austrian Jews during the Nazi era is a wound that will never heal completely, but two important decisions during recent weeks at least point to a symbolic closure for the dwindling number of survivors and the Austrian government. In a high-profile case, Maria Altmann won her seven-year battle to… More ▸

  • U.S. Court Decision Opens Door to Compensation for Austrian Survivors

    A U.S. court decision has paved the way for final compensation payments to Holocaust survivors from Austria. The Dec. 7 decision by a U.S. District Court in New York to dismiss class-action lawsuits against Austrian businesses was greeted with relief by survivor organizations and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, parties to a… More ▸

  • Camp in Austria Was First Contact for Jewish Refugees Heading West

    When my family left the Soviet Union in November 1989, we were among the first wave of Jewish refugee families to reach Kinderdorf, a summer retreat in this small rural Austrian town. Nestled between hilly green pastures, Kinderdorf has six buildings that together can house about 150 people. The buildings usually sit empty in autumn… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World in Austria, a Jewish Community Hopes to Attract New Immigrants

    Give us your tired, your poor, your Ukrainians. Such is the vision of Ariel Muzicant, president of Vienna’s Jewish community. He hopes the community’s abundance of cultural, educational and social riches, coupled with Austria’s healthy economy, will become a magnet for thousands of Jews living further east. “We have the best infrastructure of any Jewish… More ▸