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Austria Parliament Building. Wikicommons
this story is part of the 29 Jan-2 Feb 2018 Weekly Hindsight Read the hindsight

Top candidate in Austrian elections owns Nazi songbook

Christine Tragler recommended by Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria

Udo Landbauer, a candidate in this Sunday's elections in Lower Austria, is under fire for owning a songbook full of lyrics praising the Nazis.

Austria Aha moments

Why this story matters:

The fact that the Landauer has been a top candidate in the upcoming elections makes the case particularly explosive. His party, the populist FPÖ (or Freedom Party of Austria) is part of Austria's new ruling coalition.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has condemned him on Twitter, saying that the lyrics were "absolutely repugnant."

The prosecutor of Wiener Neustadt, the state capital of Lower Austria, has started investigating Landauer on a suspected violation of the Prohibition Act, which bans any potential revival of Nazism. The SPÖ and Neos parties also have requested Landbauer's resignation.

Landbauer said he was not aware of the lyrics contained in the songbook. Human rights organization SOS Mitmensch said his statement is not credible because Landbauer has long maintained a close relationship with the anti-Semitic magazine "Aula."

politics, fascism

Details from the story:

  • The 1997 songbook connected to leading Austrian political candidate Udo Landauer contains lyrics in which the murder of Jews is glorified. 
  • Weekly news magazine "Falter" reported the songbook was published by a fraternity called "Germania zu Wiener Neustadt," of which Landbauer was deputy chairman.
  • On Tuesday evening, Landauer reportedly cut ties with the fraternity.
  • The ÖVP party, which rules jointly with Landbauer's own FPÖ party, condemned the lyrics but did not call for a resignation. 
  • FPÖ party leader Heinz-Christian Strache also expressed his outrage -- not about the Nazi lyrics, but about the newspaper that revealed the case: "The leftist weekly "Falter" is currently trying to create a scandal around Udo Landbauer," he said.

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