Thursday, 21. August 2014
20. 04. 12. - 17:00
Vienna has agreed to rename a street that was named after a former mayor whose anti-semitic views inspired Hitler's hatred of the jews.
Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring will be renamed Universitaetsring (University Ring) after the university that is located on that section of the avenue circling the inner city.
The move has been slammed by the country's far rightr MPs who say that despite his anto-Semitism Lueger, who was mayor for 13 years from 1897 on, had done many good things.
As well as expanding Vienna's pipeline network supplying the city with alpine spring water, he had also established a public transport system and strengthened social welfare services.
But he also openly espoused anti-Semitic sentiments. Adolf Hitler, who lived in Vienna for part of Lueger's tenure, saw him as an inspiration for his hatred of Jews.
Lueger nonetheless had Jewish friends and once famously declared, "I decide who is a Jew." His views were shared by many Austrians at a time when anti-Semitism was widespread across much of Europe and before it became associated with the Holocaust.
Vienna Counselor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny of the governing Social Democrat-Greens coalition announced the name change on Thursday, saying the city "should not act as if there were no dark spots" in its history. At the same time, he said, statues and other reminders of Lueger's tenure spread throughout the city will remain standing.
The Freedom Party criticized the decision.
In his comments Thursday, Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache invoked a decision by Vienna's Social Democratic government four years ago to erect a bust of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara in a city park.
"The socialists set up a memorial for a foreign mass murderer like Che Guevara, but an excellent Viennese mayor is stripped of a street name," said Strache. "This is a scandal!" His party is Austria's second-strongest political force.
However, Oskar Deutsch, who represents Vienna's Jewish community, praised the action. In an allusion to the Freedom Party, he said the name change should "also serve as a warning on our present politicians who frivolously and reprehensibly use anti-Semitic, racially motivated and xenophobic slogans."
Austria has moved from its postwar portrayal of being Nazi Germany's first victim to acknowledging that it was Hitler's willing partner.
The centrist People's Party — which governs together with the Social Democrats nationally — also took Vienna's Social Democrats to task.
While agreeing that Lueger's heritage needed to be looked at critically, People's Party chief Manfred Juraczka said the municipal's coalition government did not have the moral authority to decide on a name change after commemorating "the mass-murderer Che Guevara" with a bust.
Greens official Alexander Van der Bellen described Lueger as a "great communal politician" whose image was nonetheless besmirched with "his expressions of anti-Semitism."
Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning – in a swimming pool.
Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.
Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.
Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.
Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap
A Japanese man inspired by Austrian pervert Wolfgang Priklopil kidnapped a 10-year-old girl and kept her in a purpose-built cellar where he planned to train her to become the perfect wife.
German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.
Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.
Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.
Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.
Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched
Austrian police are hunting crooks who broke open a market stall and stole a 1.5 metre sausage worth over 2,000 EUR in the picture postcard village of St Michael in the region of Lungau.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Prehistoric Hottie On Show In China|
|Brother Arrested For Hair Removal Cream Attack On Sister|
|Russian Supermodel Hangs Out As Hooker In Moscow|
|Mexican Grew A 60 Kilo Tumour Without Realising|
|Woman Brutally Kills Kittens In Front Of Mother Cat|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.