Austria’s new far-right Vice Chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, is suing anti-fascists for ‘slander’. We are republishing Linkswende Jetzt’s appeal for financial support, as they fight to defend themselves against this charge. Additional reporting by Nick Evans of rs21.
Heinz-Christian Strache has long-standing connections with Neo-Nazi organisations. His far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) came third in the recent Austrian general election and is now forming a government with the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP). Coalition talks have given the far right control of the ministries of the interior, of defence, and of a new department of ‘Heimatschutz’ (‘Homeland Security’). The new department’s name has sinister echoes from Austria’s fascist history.
The Freedom Party want to eliminate all opposition to their hate-filled politics. While complaining about the bias of the Austrian establishment against them, they have taken their political opponents to court more than all the other political parties put together. They are now being given control of Austria’s security apparatus. Their attack on the revolutionary socialist group Linkswende Jetzt is an attack on all who wish to resist a party with roots in the tradition of National Socialism.
See here for more background on the Freedom Party.
We, Austrian antifascist organisation “Left Turn Now” (Linkswende jetzt), said “Fuck you” to Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Freedom Party (FPÖ), and showed him the middle finger. Now he is suing us for “slander”. Donate (Linkswende jetzt, AT13 1400 0030 1098 7309, BIC: BAWAATWW, reference “Court case”) and send messages of solidarity to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the fascist Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) is suing us, Left Turn Now (Linkswende jetzt), one of the leading antifascist organisations in Austria. Strache is Austria’s designated vice chancellor, defence minister and minister for the newly created ministry for “Heimatschutz”, which was the name for the Austrian fascist troops in the 1920s and 1930s.
We are known for our firm stand against racism and fascism. Our posters “Nazis out of parliament” (“Nazis raus aus dem Parlament”) and “Don’t let Nazis govern and never march” (“Lasst Nazis nicht regieren und niemals aufmarschieren”) were all over national and international news.
A few weeks before the general election in October we shot a video in which we explained why we say “F*CK Strache” and show him the middle finger. Now Strache is suing us for “slander” (Beleidigung) and wants “compensation” for the “offence caused”. This is ridiculous!
At the end of the year 1989 Strache – he was already a member of the FPÖ – led an anti-Semitic march of the fascist “Wiking-Jugend” (Viking Youth) in Fulda, Germany. He and 20 more protesters were put into police custody because they tried to storm a Jewish synagogue. At the same time he attended “Wehrsportübungen” (paramilitary exercises) with famous Austrian Neo-nazis, where the participants took lessons in how to murder political opponents with knives and other weapons (see picture of Strache with mask and rifle).
Under Strache’s leadership in the FPÖ (2005–) the “deutsche Volks- und Kulturgemeinschaft” (German people’s and cultural community) – which was a crucial aspect in the Nazi ideology – was reintroduced into the party programme. Strache is a member of so-called German nationalist “Burschenschaften” (fascist student corporations).
Every year these corporations gather for a “Totengedenken” (commemoration of the dead) to preserve the memory of their fraternity brothers, Nazi war criminals like Ernst Kaltenbrunner (Chief of the Reich Main Security Office, head of the Nazi terror machine), SS Obersturmführer Irmfried Eberl (commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp) or SS doctor Hermann Richter, who removed organs of inmates in the concentration camps Dachau and Mauthausen, in order to see how long they could survive his torture.
Strache held the “Totenrede”, the speech at these commemorations, in 2004. At the same time Strache denounced victims of Nazi military justice as “perpetrators” and compared himself and members of the “Burschenschaften” with the victims of the Reichspogromnacht 1938. He said, “We are the new Jews.”
It is not slander to say “F*CK Strache!”, it is our democratic right and antifascist duty.
Please send messages of solidarity to email@example.com and donations to:
IBAN: AT13 1400 0030 1098 7309
We will publish messages of solidarity on linkswende.org. Details and evidence see the book Stille Machtergreifung – Hofer, Strache und die Burschenschaften from author Hans-Henning Scharsach.