Saturday, 07. December 2013
04. 07. 12. - 16:00
From today the street that was named after a former mayor whose anti-semitic views inspired Hitler's hatred of the jews is history.
Dr. Karl-Lueger-Ring will officially be changed to Universitaetsring (University Ring) after backing from the social Democrats and the Greens.
All signs and house numbers will be changed.
The move was opposed by the Freedom party and the conservative People's party. The new road is now named after the university that is located on that section of the avenue circling the inner city.
Those who opposed the plan say that despite his anti-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 Counsellor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny of the governing Social Democrat-Greens coalition announced the name change last month, 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.
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 municipality'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."
Media Insider: Does Somebody Actually get Paid to Write UNIS Releases?
More proof if proof was needed of how incredibly pointless the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna really is.
Austrias SPO disappointed over financial tax
The failure to implement a European tax on financial transactions for next year is disappointing, according to Austrian Chancellor and SPO party leader Werner Faymann.
Ex Wife Loses battle to Claw Back Fortune
The ex-wife of Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has lost a battle to claim a share of her husband's company, Austria’s highest court (OGH) has ruled.
Final chance to see Elisabeth musical in Vienna
It's the last chance for musical fans to catch the renowned Austrian musical about the story of 19th century Empress Sisi as it enters the final few months of performances in Vienna.
Austrian woman caught drug smuggling in Indonesia
An Austrian woman risks being sentenced to death in Indonesia after she was arrested in late November for attempting to smuggle drugs into the country.
World Record Breaking Ski World Record Attempt
The Austrian capital already holds many records, often voted the city with the best quality of life in the world, or being the only capital city with vineyards in the city limits - but not many people know it's also the only capital city to offer a traditional mountain skiing experience in the city limits.
Finissage for Outsider in a Box by Dwora Fried
It’s hard to believe that Dwora Fried — a native Austrian with unruly, fiery red hair, a lesbian, world traveler, mother of four and daughter of a Holocaust survivor — is able to create artwork just as complicated, dynamic and vivacious as herself, all within a wooden box that’s only 31 centimeters wide, 21 centimeters high and 8 centimeters deep.
Austrian business to visit Iran
Austrian businesses are eyeing up commercial prospects in Iran amid expectations that trade sanctions against the country imposed by the United States and the European Union will be relaxed.
Semmering Zauberberg Opens This Weekend
The long awaited ski start at Vienna’s local ski resort Semmering Zauberberg kicks off this weekend when the pistes are opened for snow sports fans.
Meeting over oil production level held in Vienna
In a meeting behind closed doors in Austria this week, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain their target for oil barrel production at 30 million a day.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austria sees biggest increase in property prices in Europe|
|Two Brothels Closed in Red Light Clampdown|
|Austria has Top Four Ski Resorts|
|Unemployment rises by 10.8 per cent in comparison to November 2012|
|Campaign to Save Salzburg Airport Steps Up|
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.