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washington DC
posts: 706
reviews: 13

Have youexperienced anti-semitic incidents as a tourist or resident?

posts: 914
reviews: 7
11. Re: anti-semitism

love 2 travel: I'm with you on this one. There was definate right wing bias in that comment.

posts: 3
12. Re: anti-semitism

I have been living here in Vienna since two years as a student and my experience says that this anti-semitic exists. But it might be in low numbers. These days words like 'Nigger Raus' - nigger out and 'Ausl��nder Raus'- foreigners out are common phrase seen everywhere even in trams. The major reason I see this increase is due to increase in jobless.

posts: 485
reviews: 7
13. Re: anti-semitism

I remember the hoo-hah in 1999.

The OVP (centre-right) and the SPO (centre-left) had been running Austria in coalition since the 60s, with no party having been able to gain a majority of the popular vote. This, plus the general swing to conservatism in Europe in the late 90s, saw Jörg Haider's FPO (right-wing) put up a good showing to come second in the election - if I recall the proportions were something like SPO 34%, FPO 33% and OVP 32%.

There then proceeded to months of coalition negotiations, with the SPO refusing to do business with the FPO and the OVP insisting it would be undemocratic to go into government when they came third in the election.

In the end, an OVP-FPO coalition took power, though to placate international opinion (to read the British papers, you'd think Haider had been swept into power by a landslide majority of swastika-wearing Austrians), the OVP were the senior partners, the OVP leader became chancellor and Haider resigned the FPO leadership and went off to become governor of Kärnten.

(Warning: We are now approaching the point)

Point is, while all the wrangling was going on over the winter of 1999/2000, hundreds of thousands of Viennese (and presumably other Austrians) lit up the Ringstrasse and Heldenplatz with candlelit vigils, "Nie Wieder Faschismus" graffiti appeared everywhere and there was much general soul-searching about Austria's role in the third Reich.

Austria has a strong conservative streak, sure, but if the politics of 99/00 and the accompanying agonies in the media and on the streets are anything to go by, genuine neo-nazis are few and far between.

posts: 914
reviews: 7
14. Re: anti-semitism

I do remember the anti-fascist demonstrations and was much pleased to see them. It certainly would back up your point.

Vienna, Austria
Destination Expert
for Vienna, Austria, Innsbruck
posts: 13,749
reviews: 30
15. Re: anti-semitism

You speak about the demonstrants gathering in Vienna before and after the new government has been sworn in. But you don't mention all other who were surprised about that ongoings happening. I am young person, and I was very disappointed about Austria and its residents, because thousands denied to accept that things ocassionally change.

The social democrats (formerly the Socialists) had ruled Austria for long time, they established good connections to firms and governmental agenies. Supporters of the SPÖ obtained very good jobs in economy. In 1999 Austrian voters used the 'democratic process' to make things finally changing.

Citizens went to the ballots, and decided for a change.

If I recall the developments of the sanctions, I am still getting sick of 'democracy'! This was the darkest moment in the recent Austrian history, and was a shame for Europe!

Why is a party, in this case the FPÖ, that is represented in the parlament for many years, not allowed to enter a coalition. Who has the power to make the final decision? What is democracy?

We could make an own discussion about the FPÖ. Many things and stories about the FPÖ have been made up extremely by politcal enemies, nevertheless there happened a lot of embarrassing incidents. Nowadays the FPÖ has been reduced to an unimportant movement (by themselves)!

You ought to know that Austrians hate changes as the devil fears holy water! We mostly realize problems, but when it comes to modifications, all step onto the breaks!

Washington State
posts: 470
reviews: 23
16. Re: anti-semitism

Feeling less irritated since reading jaygee's and brickie's posts!

posts: 485
reviews: 7
17. Re: anti-semitism

Mikey - I think that part of the reason that the FPO did so well was that when you have the same coalition in power for 30-40 years, people will vote for any plausible alternative.

The "sanctions" from the rest of the EU were frankly ridiculous, but as I say, to read the British papers you'd think that there were millions of Austrians sieg-heiling in the streets. The politicians elsewhere had to be seen to be "tough on extremism" and most of what was said and done was for home consumption.

posts: 160
reviews: 6
18. Re: anti-semitism

sorry, I kind of have to mess up a little bit this discussion. I am half spanish, half austrian, my life is split up between both countries. I am too young to be blamed for what happened in WWII, and I am too intelectual to not regret that who stayed in Austria after 45 where or people in kind of an resistance or people kind of to weak to speak up or people linked to what happened, I hope you understand. Anyway, Austria lost a very worthful and great part of it´s jewish people because of what happened. I would put it like that: some people - elderly ones, others... - might still be convinced, but young/er people are more off this theme. I myself do not understand the faszination about nazis, but you all have to admit that this is not an Austrian phenomen today, but an international one. There are people even in USA, in Russia, I suppose in every country hanging on it. Personally, I know that nazism has a quite big community in Spain. By the way, it is quite similar to xenofobia, and as far as I remember, I remember situations in Spain very close to pogroms (El Ejido, Terassa, Banyoles...), entier villages beating up the maghreb population, but I do not have evidence of similiar events in Austria nowadays. FPÖ in fact does no longer exist in the same way, they split up, and I hope the continue to split up in thousands of pieces. And anyway, I think you/we should try to go to a country because we at least want to meet the other half or two thirds or 95% of the people living there, no?

Leeds, United...
posts: 2,724
reviews: 54
19. Re: anti-semitism

I think it's interesting that German film-makers (I think it's German, rather than Austrian but I haven't heard all that much about it) are beginning to make films that look at just how fascinating national socialism was in its day, e.g. 'Before the fall'. I think that's a big step forward towards understanding how it came about. If all we ever see are films saying how bad, how evil the Nazis were, we will never understand how so many people got on board with them. Understand me, I'm NOT saying the system wasn't bad but I am saying it had a huge appeal for ordinary, kind people; if we try to understand that appeal, then we (and I mean in all countries) can begin to work out how we can try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

posts: 160
reviews: 6
20. Re: anti-semitism

Ailidh, I agree with you (although I think that there has been already quite a lot of work been done in literature, film and arts). I also think that in some way this kind of situation can appear anywhere, it is not a specific germanic item.