nettime on Tue, 8 Feb 2000 20:19:50 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Austrian Question [more 2]

Konrad Becker <>
          RE: <nettime> The Austrian Question
"noneof yourbusiness" <>
          <nettime> Oeffentlichkeit des Sleipnir-Verfahrens...
Phil Graham <>
          Haider again; and - what can we all do? (fwd)
nettime's_dusty_archivist <>
          Hitchens on Haider (1996)

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From: Konrad Becker <>
Subject: RE: <nettime> The Austrian Question
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 18:34:00 +0100 

Dear Nettimers,
things are getting wild here-
I have to react to statments coming from austria:

> Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 11:43:12 +0000
> From: "<<bernhard>>" <>
> Organization: <<ALL.QUIET>>
> Subject: Re: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

> It is just untrue 
> that there is
> repression against artists in Austria.

This is simply NOT true!
there has been uncounted attacks against artists an intellectuals from the
freedom party-
this ranges from attacks on pretty conservative and established artists to
the "avangarde" and "artists with social responsibility" (including Public
Netbase which has been attacked for its debate on zensorship with a call to
withdraw all public funding).
The FPOe produced a nazi-style pamphlets against "entartete kunst" just last
year (including Nitsch Muehl, Kolig, Wiener Gruppe, Netbase and others)
They have been constantly attacking theater people like Jellinek, Turrini
and Peymann.

There is a strong climate of repression which extends to the
socialdemocrats- only some years ago a social-democratic Minister Moritz has
declared Thomas Bernhard a case for a mental hospital. 
(expect a list of further information on the repression of art and science
I would like to comment on the statements from Frank Hartmann but I have no
time (I have to go to the demos)  but I find it depressing.

To justify a neofascist government with the argument of some "red pack"
parasites would be hillarious if it was not very sad indeed... we have a lot
of hip youngster here at netbase and the dont share the views of "surf

please stay tuned with the resistance of the austrian cultural workers!! 
Support the people fighting this regime from within the austrian borders!!


PS: for a taste of the the climate of cultural repression (only german)read
an article from the longtime editor of "Die Zeit" Siegrid Loeffler

PPS: desinformation in the media has become strong! Peaceful demonstrations
of 5000 - 10000 have been declared as 1000- 2000 violent demo-professionals

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From: "noneof yourbusiness" <>
Subject: <nettime> Oeffentlichkeit des Sleipnir-Verfahrens...
Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2000 19:29:00 GMT

just for short to those who didn't know:

the upmentioned "sleipnir" ist a neonazi publication. i really hope they get 
awfully fucked in court.

Get Your Private, Free Email at

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Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 23:24:43 +1100
From: Phil Graham <>
Subject: Haider again; and - what can we all do? (fwd)

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 16:39:23 -0500
>From: Ruth Wodak <ruth.wodak@UNIVIE.AC.AT>
>Subject: Haider again; and - what can we all do?
>Dear All!
>Since yesterday, 12pm, Schuessel, OeVP and the Freedom Party have formed the
>government and are officially installed. demonstrations all around the big
>Austrian cities since several days...Haider himself is not part of the
>government, he is staying governor of Carinthis, an Austrian province.
>Please do not cancel any conferences or trips to Austria, we need your
>Please continue to sened newspaper and media reactions on file because we
>are planning a website with reports and research on Racism , Haider, Europe
>etc. Comments and help and suggestions are very welcome. We will send you
>the www.adress and please put links to this in your homepages!
>Please send recent research on these topics to me as attachments, rtf files
>Moreover, please distribute my guest editorial in Discourse and Society
>1/2000 to journalists etc and tell them to get in touch with us if they have
>questions or need an analysis of what is going on!
>Verene Krausnekcer, a researcher on my team in the Center "Discourse,
>Politics, Identity" will mail you very soon, about the Racism Hotline which
>is being installed!
>See also for some ongoing research on these
>Best and thank you

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Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 15:22:42 -0100 
From: nettime's_dusty_archivist <>
Subject: Hitchens on Haider (1996)


Deja vu all over again


VIENNA -- The First World War began with the slaying of an Austrian archduke
and a former Austrian corporal launched the Second World War, so it's
probably a mistake for us to leave Austria on the periphery of our vision.

To casual observers, Austria is one of the most tame and predictable
countries in Europe, safely and prosperously nestled in the European
Community. Its governments alternate reassuringly between center-left and
center-right coalitions, and its politicians -- apart from that
unpleasantness over the wartime record of former chancellor and U.N.
Secretary General Kurt Waldheim -- have always seemed safe and respectable.

All the more shocking, then, were the results of last month's European
Parliament and municipal elections, in which the relatively new, and very
right-wing, Austrian Freedom Party took just under 30 percent of the vote.

The Freedom Party is led by Jorg Haider. His father was a leading member of
the Austrian Nazi Party. Haider himself had to resign a few years ago as
governor of the province of Carthinia after a speech in which he praised
Adolf Hitler's policy of full employment. He speaks at reunions of "old
comrades" from the war years, telling them at one reunion that not all
members of the SS were dishonorable men. At 47, he also has every chance of
becoming Chancellor of Austria in the not-too-distant future.

How worried should we be? Quite a bit, says Bruno Aigner, whose Socialist
Party has just lost its majority on the Vienna city council for the first
time since the war and has seen its popular vote decline from 51.4 percent
in 1979 to 29.4 percent today. In Austria, as in much of the rest of Europe,
right-wing populists are "playing on the piano of social anxiety" -- over
immigration, unemployment, and resentment against an over-centralized
bureaucracy in Brussells. Wages in the neighboring Czech Republic are about
one-eighth of those paid in Austria, and here, as elsewhere, business has a
tendency to move where labor is cheaper.

In addition, says Aigner, who is his party's leading intellectual, the old
parties, including the Socialists, had become soft and complacent. Austrians
have a term -- proporz -- for the sharing-out of salaried public-sector jobs,
even headmasterships in public schools, between the Socialist and
Conservative parties. Undoubtedly, Herr Haider profited from resentment
against such cozy arrangements. Worse still was the failure of the old
parties to provide any vision of the future. And yes, even though these
questions were not confined to Austria, the fact remained, says Aigner, that
the country did have "a certain history."

It certainly does. Outside the old and abandoned Jewish cemetery in uptown
Vienna, I came across a sticker which inveighed against Austrian membership
in the European Union. Anschluss II, it read. EU Verrat an Osterreich -- "The
Second Anchluss. The European Union Betrays Austria." This turned out to be
a slogan put out not by the Freedom Party, but by the minuscule and
still-Stalinist Austrian Communist Party. It reminded me of the inter-war
lament that, in this country, the patriots were not democrats and the
democrats were not patriots.

Interviewing Jorg Haider, I was reminded more of British Labor leader Tony
Blair than of some lederhosen-clad nostalgic. Lean and fit, Haider skis and
hikes and ran recently in the New York Marathon. His answers to all my
questions were deft and polished. No, he was not against Europe, only
against the bureaucratic aspects of the Maastricht Treaty. He was not
against immigrants, only against uncontrolled immigration. He refers to
Austria's Nazi experience as "the black period," and says that all
schoolchildren should be taught how bad it was. And he points out
(correctly) that both of Austria's major parties have had their share of
ex-Nazis in the leadership.

Only in a couple of his answers did I feel an uneasy echo of the past. His
call for "A Europe of Fatherlands" does not have quite the same progressive
ring as Charles de Gaulle's "L'Europe des Patries," even though it means
roughly the same in translation. And when I asked him if he regretted his
remarks about Hitler's employment schemes and the honor of the SS, he
replied that of course he did, "because you make it complicated for yourself
personally if you say something that may be mistaken." This seemed to fall
somewhat short of a full statement of contrition.

Yes, well, says Peter Sichrovsky, those remarks may be deplorable, but they
don't alter the fact that Haider and the Freedom Party represent a future of
reform. I quote Sichrovsky partly because he is one of the brighter
Euro-Parliament members elected on the Freedom Party ticket, and also
because he is a leading member of Vienna's Jewish community.

A well-known journalist in Austria, Sichrovsky was a ghost-writer of the
memoirs of Ignatz Bubis, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
His parents were Communists who fled Austria during the Hitler years. His
father, who wore a British uniform throughout World War II, displays a
distinct lack of enthusiasm for his son's newfound notoriety. It's a price
Sichrovsky says he is willing to pay for daring to be free of old taboos and
challenging the played-out consensus that has ruled Austria for so long. He
knew almost nothing of Judaism while growing up, he says, and even less of
Zionism. Still, he now counts himself as an observant Jew with a relatively
"hard line" on Israeli security.

This modern, yuppified and somewhat ecumenical version of the Euro-Right is
no aberration: it fits with developments in neighboring Italy and Croatia,
where populist and nationalist forces have been able to re-emerge in
respectable colors and either take power or come close to doing so. Bruno
Aigner is not the only traditional politician in Europe who worries that, in
the face of such a challenge, the parties of the post-war consensus have
been left with little to offer and little to say.

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