Today's Austrian anti-semitism
This January marks the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference where the Nazi elite decided upon the deadly fate of millions of Jews in Europe.While this is chilling to learn about, and we must definitely thank the author for bringing this up, I honestly find it sad that she feels she just has to resort to the classic citation of fascist ideologies like those as "extreme right" if not "anti-liberal". Especially considering that she herself cited the Nazis by the full name they were known for - National Socialism - and not just by the acronym-like name seen more often.
No doubt this anniversary will be honoured – even in Austria, despite the fact that its ideological and practical involvement in the “Final Solution” is still talked of by some of its citizens and political leaders in terms of Austria as “the first victim” of National Socialist imperalism.
Conferences will be held, memorials organized and TV documentaries broadcast to commemorate the occasion. Talking about dead Jews has become business as usual – if not an obsession – in the successor states of the National Socialist empire.
While many nations will mark the international Holocaust remembrance day on January 27th, the very day Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army, a different kind of event will also take place on that very date here in Austria.
Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, official residence of the Austrian president Heinz Fischer, will host – as in previous years – the annual ball of the infamous Vienna Korporationsring, an association of German-nationalist fraternities who maintain a gateway between the extreme right, namely the Austrian Freedom Party(FPOE), and the neo-Nazis. In past years this ball has served as a networking event for Europe’s extreme right.
The history of these fraternities (“Burschenschaften”) reaches back to the 19th century, the birth years of a German nationalism that was based on a “völkische” ideology which was antisemitic as well as antiliberal at its core.
So is Austria actually regretting their own role in the Holocaust? With that kind of reception at the presidential palace, it's awfully doubtful they ever have.