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NYT: In Austria, Only Nazis Are Concerned About Muslim Mass Migration
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September 29, 2015, 06:43 PM
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From a news article in the New York Times:

Rise of Austrian Right Lengthens Shadow of Nazi Era

By ALISON SMALE SEPT. 29, 2015

VIENNA — As befits the city of Sigmund Freud, Vienna has two faces — one sweet, one sinister.

Behind the schnitzel and strudel, Mozart and the opera, lurks the legacy of the Nazis who forced Jews to clean sidewalks with toothbrushes. In 1988, to much controversy, Vienna placed Alfred Hrdlicka’s “Memorial Against War and Fascism,” featuring a sculpture of a Jewish man cleaning the street, right behind the State Opera, lest Austria again forget.

Now, to the astonishment of many and the alarm of some, the burning question in Vienna’s elegant cafes is, Which face will prevail in the city’s bellwether elections on Oct. 11?

Roughly one in four of Austria’s 8.7 million residents lives in Vienna. For almost the last century — aside from the Nazi years, 1938-45 — the left has ruled “Red Vienna,” long prized for its pioneering public housing and welfare, and its cultural ferment.

But against the backdrop of Europe’s refugee drama, the far-right Freedom Party is threatening the Social Democrats’ hold in what may portend a more general rise in populist, anti-immigrant sentiment across the Continent.

Riding a wave of anxiety over the tens of thousands of migrants entering Austria this month, the Freedom Party finished second, with just over 30 percent of the vote, in regional elections in northern Austria on Sunday.

The Freedom Party’s strident anti-Islam message seems to have struck a chord in a city whose palaces speak of the bygone glory of a multiethnic European empire, and whose public spaces now attest to increasing diversity and a Muslim population of some 12 percent.

“We don’t want an Islamization of Europe,” the party leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, told Austria’s public broadcaster as he began his campaign to be Vienna’s mayor. “We don’t want our Christian-Western culture to perish.”

In Germany, such sentiments exist on the fringe of politics. In Austria, which never underwent denazification programs after 1945, the Freedom Party has morphed from its roots in groups of former Nazis to a xenophobic message that it blends with concern for the little guy. …

Thousands of Viennese have greeted tens of thousands of refugees arriving from Hungary this month. The national government, which had long flailed on the issue, found a firm voice and strongly criticized Budapest for putting refugees on trains that led them not west to Austria, but to a camp in Hungary. This, said Chancellor Werner Faymann, a Social Democrat, “brings up memories of our Continent’s darkest period.”

Like Germany, Austria loudly advocates asylum for refugees. Its projected total of applicants, many from the Middle East, is 80,000 this year, meaning that, like Germany’s, its population may grow by 1 percent. …

Opponents of the far right hope events — the greeting of the migrants and the discovery of 71 corpses in a truck abandoned by smugglers — have turned the tables on Mr. Strache.

“These are experiences which will not be forgotten so quickly,” said Georg Hoffmann-Ostenhof, a columnist for the center-left weekly Profil. Indeed, Austria’s tabloids switched from headlines about the chaos brought by refugees to images of warm welcomes, although the arrival of tens of thousands may strain slender resources.

Not everyone is optimistic. “The people are ready to help,” said Hans Rauscher, a columnist for the Vienna newspaper Der Standard. “But don’t kid yourself. You only have to listen to the gossip in the bars” to know that anti-Muslim feeling runs high.

Far-right supporters are often reticent around foreigners, …

The only national figure present, Harald Stefan, a Freedom Party deputy in Parliament, made clear his sympathy for Hungary’s tough stance. “The Germans were to blame,” he said of the refugee surge that followed a message on Twitter from a German official widely read as saying all Syrians could enter. “You can’t blame Hungary for that.”

The Freedom Party’s campaign, titled “October Revolution,” preserves the jingoism the party has made its own. “Vienna should not become Chicago” was a favorite slogan back in the 1990s. This year, one motto is “Respect for our culture instead of false tolerance” for anything un-Austrian.

Some immigrants are acceptable: For Mr. Strache, “the Serbian Christian Orthodox” — about 100,000 people here — “are his allies against the Turks,” Mr. Rauscher said.

To counter Mr. Strache, the Social Democrats compiled a “Blue Book” of his deeds and speeches. In the introduction, Mayor Häupl writes: “History books tell us enough about where things can lead if demagogues get power. We want to make sure that no new chapters have to be written. That is why the coming elections in Vienna are decisive, and not just for our city.”

When eventually some Muslims murder some of Vienna’s few remaining Jews in an act of anti-Semitic terrorism, well, that will just elicit more articles about how it’s really the fault of Nazi-like Austrians who didn’t welcome the anti-Semitic terrorists ardently enough. Or something.

Modern progressives increasingly believe that geographic locations emit powerful magic emanations that control the behavior of people who subsequently settle there. Thus inner city neighborhoods in America cause gun violence and poor test scores. Similarly, the Nazi-tainted geography of Austria will no doubt hoodoo the poor innocent Muslim youths into taunting and beating Jews they happen to find on their turf. National borders are just artificial lines drawn on a map, but geographic juju is forever.

[Comment at Unz.org.]