Research exposes deep entanglement of FPÖ party leadership with right-wing extremism
System of mutual promotion between FPÖ and milieu close to neo-Nazis
At a joint press conference on DATUM, SOS Mitmensch [SOS Fellow Human], the Mauthausen Committee, the Documentation Archive of Austrian Resistance, and author Hans-Henning Scharsach presented new research into the entanglement of the FPÖ [Austrian ‘Freedom’ Party] with far-right extremism. The presentation included a dossier that exposes a system that has existed for years, a system of mutual promotion and support between FPÖ party leadership and the neo-Nazi-friendly milieu.
Symbiotic relationship between FPÖ and neo-Nazi-friendly Aula
"Our research has exposed that for years the FPÖ party leadership under Karl-Heinz Strache has been co-financing neo-Nazi-friendly spheres and simultaneously receiving support from them," reports Alexander Pollak, speaker for SOS Mitmensch. Pollak points out a research dossier that his human rights organization compiled. "On the basis of numerous examples, we document how the FPÖ party leadership and the neo-Nazi-friendly magazine Aula cooperate and thereby disseminate anti-Semitism, pure racism and deep-rooted xenophobia, as well as revived sympathy for former Nazi leaders and today’s neo-Nazi organizations," explains Pollak.
70 extreme right-wing cases over short time
Mauthausen Committee Austria likewise confirms the deep entanglement of the FPÖ with right-wing extremism. Christa Bauer, CEO of MKÖ, notes some 70 cases of right-wing extremism in the FPÖ within a short time; the nonpartisan MKÖ has compiled these cases in a brochure. "And these are by far not all the cases. There is not enough chalk for FPÖ party head H.C. Strache to whitewash these scandals," emphasizes Bauer.
FPÖ dominated by nationalist fraternities
The Documentation Archive of Austrian Resistance has observed changes in the political-ideological direction of the FPÖ since they last joined a government coalition. "In contrast to 1999, today’s FPÖ is dominated at the highest levels by members of nationalist fraternities. Since he took over leadership of the party in 2005, Strache relies on these, and this is reflected in the party program. Even beyond that, the Strache FPÖ has no reservations about interfacing with the far-right extremist scene outside the parliament and promotes this scene in many ways," explains Bernhard Weidinger, expert for far-right extremism at the Documentation Archive of Austrian Resistance.
Failure to come to terms with neo-Nazi past
For journalist/author Hans-Henning Scharsach, FPÖ head Strache’s past in the neo-Nazi milieu, with which he has scarcely come to terms, plays an important role in the development of the FPÖ under his leadership. "Strache has repeatedly denied his neo-Nazi past. However, police records document that he operated jointly with the most radical and violence-prone elements of the neo-Nazi scene," Scharsach explains.
FPÖ is not trustworthy
"Our research has revealed only the tip of the iceberg, yet alone this tip testifies to the massive breach of trust on the part of the FPÖ party leadership. For years, Strache, Hofer, Haimbuchner and many others in the FPÖ have intensively worked toward systematically financing, promoting and courting extremist views. Party leadership that does this is not trustworthy and should not be promoted to the levers of governmental power," emphasizes SOS Mitmensch spokesperson Pollak.