Strach–Le Pen Meeting Hit by Hitler Controversy

Austrian Independent, June 9, 2011

A leading right-winger from Austria has caused a stir by accusing a journalist from his home country of “fouling his own nest” by posing a question about Adolf Hitler in Strasbourg, France.

Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache travelled to the city to meet French politician Marie Le Pen, head of the Front National (FN) party, in the European Parliament (EP) for talks yesterday (Weds). The right-leaning party bosses called in a press conference to inform journalists from all over the continent they planned to cooperate more closely based on their agreement over a broad spectrum of European topics.

Strache launched a rant at Raimund Löw when the reporter of Austrian TV network ORF asked Le Pen for his opinion on the decision of FPÖ delegates to abstain from a vote deciding over whether Hitler should be stripped of his honorary citizenship title. Representatives of Strache’s party in Amstetten decided not to take part in the Town Hall election some weeks ago. Amstetten decision-makers met to revoke the title from the Austrian-born Third Reich leader after a Green Party delegate revealed Hitler was still honoured that way 66 years after his suicide days before the end of World War Two (WWII).

The FPÖ chief accused Löw of “fouling his own nest”. He added it was a “disgrace” to pose such a question at an international press conference. “This is incredible,” Strache–who received support by FPÖ General Secretary Harald Vilimsky in his attack–added. Strache claimed that titles such as the one held by Hitler become obsolete when the person passes away. This argumentation has been put into question by historians.

Vilimsky issued a press release shortly after the incident in which he claimed Austrian journalists were trying to present their country as a “Nazi state” abroad. Strache linked Löw’s decision to ask Le Pen about the disputed Amstetten Town Hall meeting with occurrences in 2000 and 2001. The European Union (EU) decided to reduce its cooperation with Austria to the lowest possible rate after the People’s Party (ÖVP) of Wolfgang Schüssel decided to form a coalition with the FPÖ.

Le Pen–who is seen neck and neck with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in popularity polls in France–did not reply to Löw’s query, but emphasised more that the FN and the FPÖ will create closer ties than ever before. Strache hit out at EU leaders and once more criticised decision-makers for supporting ailing Eurozone member Greece. The FPÖ caused outrage ahead of a recent provincial election by creating a campaign poster showing a “lazy Greek” lying in a hammock while receiving generous financial support from other EU member nations.

The FPÖ boss compared the situation in the EU with political circumstances in the Soviet Union before the fall of the Iron Curtain. “The European Commission (EC) has not been elected by the people,” Strache argued.

Jörg Leichtfried, who heads the Austrian Social Democrats’ (SPÖ) delegation in the EP, criticised Strache for his appearance alongside Le Pen. Leichtfried claimed Strache was kept from meeting anyone in Europe but representatives of the far-right.

Strache–whose party has good chances to come first in the next federal election, according to surveys–has attended summits of Europe’s right-wing political leaders before. His decision to meet Israeli nationalists last December triggered a heated public debate, but also sparked an immense party-internal rift. The FPÖ’s far-right branch condemned the move, but Strache has kept focusing on a less harsh tone considering immigration policies in Austria in what is understood as an attempt to win over young and frustrated voters.

He called off his attendance of a disputed gathering of far-right student fraternities in Vienna last May at which hundreds come together year after year to deplore the death of German WWII soldiers. The meeting has been under scrutiny as many student fraternity members claim that the German Reich did not start the war. Numerous people have held street marches each year to protest against their get-together as some of the right-wingers dream of a reunion of Austria and Germany amid fears of an ‘Islamisation’ of the continent.

Strache was due to hold a speech at the meeting. However, he cancelled his appearance hours before he was expected to take to the stage. Reports have it that local police were asked to ensure his personal protection before being told at short notice that such measures were not needed. The FPÖ boss claimed a top secret meeting with high-profile politicians abroad made it impossible for him to speak at the commemoration–which always takes place at the same time concentration camp survivors meet to remember their torments.

Strache–who is a member of a far-right student fraternity called Vandalia–has been attending night clubs in cities and music festivals in the countryside for years. Research has shown that one in five Austrians younger than 30 want him as the country’s next chancellor.

He made headlines by having himself tested on drug consumption amid ongoing speculations that he took illegal substances last year. Strache accused the SPÖ of dirty campaigning when he presented the faultless examination results showing that he had not consumed cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines in the previous nine months.

Left-wingers are desperately trying to regain strength among their core voter groups of students, workers, and social benefit receivers while the FPÖ looks back on a number of federal, provincial and works council elections in which it managed to drastically increase its share. Conservative opinion leaders have called on ÖVP leaders to be more precise about their views to keep the FPÖ from becoming stronger.

Strache–who has headed the FPÖ since 2005–recently said his goal was to become the country’s chancellor, but some analysts have claimed he has no interest in taking political responsibility. They have suggested the right-winger fears a sudden loss in support if people find themselves disappointed by the FPÖ’s governmental decision-making.

The situation was similar after the ÖVP and FPÖ teamed up in 2000. Ongoing FPÖ infights resulted in the foundation of late FPÖ leader Jörg Haider’s Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) six years ago.

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  • Question Diversity

    Strache—whose party has good chances to come first in the next federal election, according to surveys—has attended summits of Europe’s right-wing political leaders before. His decision to meet Isreali nationalists last December triggered a heated public debate, but also sparked an immense party-internal rift. The FPÖ’s far-right branch condemned the move, but Strache has kept focusing on a less harsh tone considering immigration policies in Austria in what is understood as an attempt to win over young and frustrated voters.

    So they call the entire FPO party “far right,” but insinuate here that the FPO’s “far right” branch didn’t want its leader to meet Isreali nationalists. So even the “far right” has a “far right” within it. What would the call those in the FPO who supported this move? Moderate far rightists?

  • Tom Iron

    1 — Question Diversity

    _________________________

    Sir, we have to know that whatever the group, there are always fringe elements. There are such groups in the Taliban, There were with the Khmer Rouge and there were with both the Nazis and Bolsheviks. There is always someone a bit more extreme, one way or the other. ALWAYS.

    Tom Iron…

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”…I’m so sick of hearing about “Hitler.”

    Adults in the West have been turned into little children who can’t quit talking about the bogeyman.

  • M

    “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”…I’m so sick of hearing about “Hitler.”

    Perfectly put! Let’s see, Hitler is dead 66 years now, the Nazi armies are no more, the world is on fire and we still prattle about what is rapidly becoming ancient history. Frankly, I think Hitler would give his citizenship back if he could see what is going on in his beloved Austria now.

  • Anonymous

    1 — Question Diversity wrote at 5:54 PM on June 10:

    So even the “far right” has a “far right” within it. What would the call those in the FPO who supported this move? Moderate far rightists?

    “Moderate extremists”? “Extreme moderates”?

    Canada’s Pierre Trudeau used to (jokingly?) describe his ideological position as “radical centrism.”

  • Anonymous

    In the Lufthansa frequent flyer lounge in Frankfort last month, an American female, in a group of young people of 35 years or less, loudly said “What do they think of the HOLOCAUST?”

    More or less everyone in the room turned and gave her a look that caused her to probably wish she had not said that.

  • Pavlov’s Dog

    Nazi! Antisemite! Racist!

    These are nothing but commands to White people to put your tail behind your legs.

  • Anonymous

    3 — Harumphty Dumpty wrote at 12:46 AM on June 11:

    “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”…I’m so sick of hearing about “Hitler.”

    Adults in the West have been turned into little children who can’t quit talking about the bogeyman.

    4 — M wrote at 1:33 PM on June 11:

    “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”…I’m so sick of hearing about “Hitler.”

    Perfectly put! Let’s see, Hitler is dead 66 years now, the Nazi armies are no more, the world is on fire and we still prattle about what is rapidly becoming ancient history. Frankly, I think Hitler would give his citizenship back if he could see what is going on in his beloved Austria now.

    __________________

    I have always wondered about this incessant need to bring up Hitler and the Nazis ALL the time 66 years after the fact. I believe it is the way they can “keep it alive” ( make $$$$ off of it, and promote “hate” crime laws) and to be able to call all of us WN, Nazis, etc. so the clueless sheeple will fall in line behind them and denounce any White racial movement. Seems to be working out great for THEM, doesn’t it?

    I have always wondered why not bring up the Soviet Union Bolsheviks who murdered so many millions of White Europeans and White Russians? Why not bring up the gulags and how terrible they were? Nope, it is always Germany and Hitler that wanted to “enslave” us all. Which is a lie, btw.

  • kgb

    While Rome burns and the entire Eurozone is about to disintegrate…

    … the reporter of Austrian TV network ORF asked Le Pen … whether Hitler should be stripped of his honorary citizenship title.

  • UnclePen

    “Adults in the West have been turned into little children who can’t quit talking about the bogeyman.”

    Right!

    Your children won’t eat their oatmeal (or their chocolate frosted sugar flakes)?

    Tell them that Hitler is going to get them!

    You’re a young black man who can’t talk a young white woman into taking off her clothes for you?

    Tell her that Hitler is going to get her!

    Are you surprised when a black says something very intelligent, or when a black actually apologizes for something?

    HItler is going to get you!

  • Arcadian

    Anonymous #8, you wonder why the Soviet atrocities are not brought up. Good question considering they murdered about 20 million people(and thats probably a conservative estimate). It’s because they (Communists) won the war – with our help. If Hitler had won we wouldn’t hear a word about the Jewish extermination or any other evils,it would be all down to the Soviet slaughter of the Polish Kulaks, the millions of Jews & gypsies the Soviets exterminated, the deliberate starving of millions in the Ukraine and much much more. History is always written by the victors.

    But yes, I agree with the sentiment of many here, how the Left tediously keep Hitler’s legacy alive whilst ignoring so many other evil men. It’s because Hitler the only major example of ‘right wing’ evil they have to bash us with; and even that example, when you examine it turns out to be not right wing at all but another variety of Socialism (Read Hitler’s own words about his Socialist ideals “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system…” ) Oh deary me Leftys, looks like you’ll have to find another brickbat soon hmmm?.

  • Anonymous

    10 — Arcadian wrote at 7:02 PM on June 13:”

    the Soviet slaughter of the Polish Kulaks, the millions of Jews & gypsies the Soviets exterminated, the deliberate starving of millions in the Ukraine and much much more. History is always written by the victors.”

    ———————————————–

    Yes that is true but the “soviet” bolsheviks murdered tens of millions of White Christians in those countries also.

    “History is always written by the victors.”

    Another truism. This is why I no longer watch the History Channel, world war 11 movies, PBS and the Civil War, etc. because I have found many “errors/omissions” in what they portray as truth. I especially won’t listen or watch anything they put out on “our horrific” slavery in this country. We have been lied to many times over.

  • Dolf

    Hitler and his Nazis may be long dead & gone, but they are still more-than-acceptable cannon fodder in the movies or on TV. Only robots may also be dispatched with such efficiency & alacrity, without a hint of conscience.

  • Anonymous

    What would Hollywood do without Hitler and the Nazis? …(not to mention the SPLC, etc.) Think of all the movies that have been squeezed out of them! If there were no Nazis, Hollywood would have to invent them.