European Interest

Austria’s far-right party to quash pro-Nazi image

Flickr/Gregor Tatschl/CC BY-SA 2.0
The leader of FPO Heinz-Christian Strache.

To distance its anti-Semitic image, Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) on February 13 announced it has appointed a group of historians to look into its past.

Founded in the 1950s by a former Schutzstaffel (brigadier), Austria entered a coalition government in December 2017 after coming in third in elections in October, with 26% of the vote. The anti-Islam party had recently been caught in Nazi scandals.

As reported by Euronews, a commission of some 50 researchers, led by FPÖ politician and historian Wilhelm Brauneder, will examine the party’s past, inviting contributions from researchers and representatives of independent bodies.

The decision to launch this examination comes after a local party official was forced to step down after it emerged he was vice-chairman of a far-right fraternity that had printed a song celebrating Nazi atrocities.

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