The Rise of Haider and the Freedom Party

THE ANGRY scenes in Austria this past week have shown that the entry of
Jorg Haider's Freedom Party into the Austrian government will not go

Day after day, sometimes up to 14 hours a day, workers and young people
mobilised the huge and growing opposition to Haider1s racist and
anti-working class party.

Haider's party today is not a fascist party in the sense that the Nazis
were in Germany. But Haider's repetition of Nazi propaganda and the racism
of his far-right views have alarmed workers and youth worldwide.

Protests are being held in major cities throughout the world and huge
demonstrations are being planned in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Haider has been downplaying his praise of Nazi policies and Hitler1s SS
and trying to appear more 'respectable'. He even says how much he
admires Tony Blair - not only because Britain is not joining the EU
boycott of Austria but also because he admires Blair's policies!

Haider also claims he is a moderate because he realises there is limited
potential for his far-right views to gain mass support at this stage.
During the recent elections, 63% of voters said they voted for the Freedom
Party because they wanted to show the ruling parties that change was

Haider's party has got this far because he has not been challenged by the
workers' movement in Austria. Decades of rule by social democratic and
coalition governments have ended in privatisation, cuts and carrying out
attacks on the working which have nurtured the discontent in which
Haider's far right have grown.

But although Haider doesn't currently represent a return to the fascism of
the 1930s, his party's rise must serve as a warning to the workers'
movement and socialists everywhere.

Hitler made the not entirely true boast that he came to power without a
pane of glass being broken in opposition. Even if Haider does not at this
stage represent the same threat as Hitler, our generation must not allow
this to happen again.

How Did Haider Achieve Power?

Youth Against Racism in Europe Oppose Haider

Austrian Workers History of Anti-Fascism

Austrian Socialists Analyse Haider

Is the FPO Fascist?

Youth Against Racism in Europe Web Site

Committee for a Workers' International Web Site