Parliamentarians from the Green Party held up a poster declaring: “You have not learned the lessons of history.” As one who watched this spectacle live on television, I can say the election of this man is a shame for this country, which was only resurrected in 1945 because of the many Allied soldiers who gave their lives for its liberation.
FPÖ member Martin Graf, 48 years old, has attended extreme right-wing demonstrations on May 8 - according to the extreme right, on May 8,1945, when Nazi Germany surrendered, the occupation of Austria began. Graf is also a member of an extreme right wing student fraternity which once hosted a Neo-Nazi singer. Included in his repertoire was a song containing the lines, “with 6 million Jews, the fun just begins”.
Only one day after a tram conductor who greeted the guests of a Vienna tram with the Nazi “Sieg Heil” was removed from duty, Martin Graf has been elected to one of the most senior positions in a country which is apparently so proud of its anti-Fascist constitution.
We can hear all kind of noble declarations in parliament concerning how Austria condemns National Socialism. For example, Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer declared in 2000: “The SPÖ (Social-Democratic party) has established in its program, in its history as an Anti-Fascist party deeply connected with democracy, which rejects National Socialism and its crimes resolutely.” But it’s quite different in practise.
Such declarations are spoken, as we say in Austria, “out of the window,” meaning that they are mainly for foreign consumption. The same can be said about some of the declarations heard today in Austrian parliament.
Karl Öllinger, a Green MP, has published a dossier about the Austrian extreme right, including “Olympia.” Öllinger sent his dossier to all members of parliament. Despite its contents, the Austrian parliament has elected with majority Martin Graf the nominee of the extreme right FPÖ. Only the Greens and a few other members of parliament opposed it.