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Austria

  • For Austrian Man, Service Program is a Chance to Rectify Pain of Shoah

    With anti-Semitism at its highest level in years, support for the Jewish community sometimes comes from the most unlikely of places. An Austrian program that provides an alternative to the country’s obligatory military service is placing young volunteers at Holocaust institutions around the world, including at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center. Opened in 1979, the… More ▸

  • Israeli Ambassador Returns to Austria As Country Mends Fences with the Jews

    The iciness that has marked relations between Israel and Austria for the last three and a half years appears to be thawing. In a move that pleased both Austrian Jews and the Austrian government, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom announced this week that Jerusalem would return its ambassador to Vienna for the first time since… More ▸

  • Tensions Simmering in Austria As Community Pushes for Funding

    The blue-and-white banner draped above the closed door of Vienna’s main synagogue bore a big star of David — and a message designed to provoke. “Shut because of Schuessel,” it read, referring to Austria’s chancellor, Wolfgang Schuessel. The banner was hoisted last week as the latest broadside in a bitter funding standoff between the cash-strapped… More ▸

  • Austrian Jewish Leader Lashes out at Chancellor over Funding Dispute

    The head of Austria’s Jewish community is accusing the country’s chancellor of malice toward the Jewish community over a funding spat. Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel gives him “the feeling that his goal is the liquidation of the community,” a Viennese newspaper quoted Ariel Muzicant as saying. The dispute arose after Muzicant warned that without compensation for… More ▸

  • Austrian Far-right Party Trounced, but Could Still Assume Coalition Role

    Austrian far-right leader Jorg Haider has announced his retirement from politics, but Austria-watchers may want to hold their applause for now. Haider made the announcement Monday, a day after his Freedom Party suffered a crushing defeat in national elections that gave a clear victory to the conservative People’s Party. After the Freedom Party won only… More ▸

  • Israel-austria Relation Thawing, but Ties Won’t Be Renewed Soon

    Despite recent hints of warming, no change in the relationship between Israel and Austria is imminent, an Israeli official has said. Speculation that a change was at hand began July 24 after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told a German TV interviewer that he had asked Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to consider re-establishing formal relations… More ▸

  • Austrian Jewish Leader Gets Apology, but Friction with Rightist Still Remains

    An apology from Jorg Haider, one of Europe’s most well-known far-right leaders, has led to a cease-fire in his battle with the leader of Austria’s Jewish community. But comments made by Jewish leader Ariel Muzicant after he agreed to drop a lawsuit against Haider indicate that friction between the two remains — and could lead… More ▸

  • Hitler Opponent, Camp Survivor, Kurt Hacker Dies in Vienna at 81

    Kurt Hacker, the president of the International Auschwitz Committee, died Saturday of heart failure in Vienna at 81. Hacker, who was not Jewish, reportedly died as he was about to board a train to attend a meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, of the Auschwitz Committee, which brings together former Auschwitz prisoners from 28 countries. Born in… More ▸

  • British Jewish Group Backs Down, Rescinds Invite to Austrian Rightist

    An Orthodox education center in Britain has withdrawn its invitation to a leading Jewish member of Austria’s xenophobic Freedom Party. The invitation to Peter Sichrovsky was canceled after sponsors of the Yakar center threatened to withdraw support for the institution, according to Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, Yakar’s director. But Rosen defended the invitation. “There is a… More ▸