A flat repudiation of anti-Semitism by Austria’s conservative People’s Party was hailed by a Jewish leader here as “a significant and constructive step forward” in the aftermath of the anti-Semitism generated in Austria during last summer’s Presidential election campaign.
Theodore Ellenoff, president of the American Jewish Committee, said that the People’s Party’s statement, communicated to the AJC, was also a “vitally important” assurance to Austria’s small Jewish community. The community had been seriously offended by the anti-Semitic backlash to the exposure of People’s Party candidate Kurt Waldheim’s wartime Nazi past during the campaign. Waldheim was elected President of Austria by a landslide vote last June 8.
In its statement, the People’s Party said: “In light of the controversies created during the last Presidential elections, the Austrian People’s Party wishes to underscore especially its unambiguous rejection of anti-Semitism against our fellow Jewish citizens by anyone, in any form and under any circumstances … We wish to assure our nation, and particularly our respected Jewish citizens, that the People’s Party is absolutely determined not to tolerate any kind of anti-Semitism and to fight against any remnants of this vile prejudice which must become anathema to Austria and to the civilized world.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.