On anniversary of Reichspogromnacht, record number of FPÖ parliamentarians from extreme right-wing fraternities

Press release 08 Nov. 2017

Mauthausen Committee warns of danger for Austria

The new National Council convenes for the first time on 9 November, the anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht, when in 1938 the Nazis brutally attacked the defenseless Jewish minority. "The date of constitution of the National Council could symbolize that our republic is based on the unconditional rejection of National Socialism and on the remembrance of the suffering of its victims," says Willi Mernyi, chairman of Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ). "However, the FPÖ sees to very different symbolism: their parliamentary list includes more members of German nationalist and extreme right fraternities than ever before."

The far-right activities of the various fraternities and corps have been very well documented, most recently by the comprehensive book Stille Machtergreifung (Silent Seizure of Power) by Hans-Henning Scharsach. "Even the most notorious far-right fraternity Olympia will again be represented in the National Council by two FPÖ parliamentarians," the MKÖ chairman notes. "Martin Graf and Harald Stefan are Olympia members, as the book documents. Their fraternity has repeatedly hosted the vilest brown agitators, e.g., the convicted Holocaust denier David Irving, who served time in prison in Austria and now is banned from travel to this country, or the meanwhile deceased neo-Nazi singer Michael Müller, whose song 'Six million Jews, that’s where the fun begins' ridiculed the victims of the Holocaust in a most repulsive way," says Mernyi.

"A greater contrast than between commemorating the Reichspogromnacht and the entry of numerous representatives of far-right fraternities in the National Council is unthinkable. Worse yet would be if such people achieved government responsibility in a coalition. Unfortunately, this coalition seems to be developing. The democratic public will have their hands full to ensure that this shame does not evolve to a threat for Austria. In the sense of the legacy of Mauthausen survivors, Mauthausen Committee is determined to resolutely fight these tendencies that violate human dignity," explains Mernyi.