Archive for October 11th, 2008

Austrian Neo-Nazi politician dies of bad karma.

Oct 11, 2008 in Uncategorized

I remember Joerg Haider well from my year abroad in Austria, 1993-1994.

Oct 10th, 2008 | VIENNA, Austria — Austrian politician Joerg Haider, whose far-right rhetoric at times cast a negative light on the Alpine republic, has died in a car accident at age 58.

Police said the accident happened early Saturday morning in the south of the country when his car veered off the road near the city of Klagenfurt. He suffered severe injuries to his face and chest. It was not immediately clear if he died at the scene or in a hospital.

Haider, who was born Jan. 26, 1950, was governor of Carinthia and leader of the far-right Alliance for the Future of Austria at the time of his death.

“For us, it’s like the end of the world,” Haider’s spokesman, Stefan Petzner, told the Austria Press Agency.

In 1999, Haider raked in 27 percent of the vote in national elections as leader of the Freedom Party. The party’s subsequent inclusion in the government led to months of European Union sanctions over Haider’s statements, which were seen as anti-Semitic or sympathetic to Adolf Hitler’s labor policies. He had since significantly toned down his rhetoric.

Over the summer, Haider staged a comeback in national politics and helped his Alliance for the Future of Austia significantly improve their standing in Sept. 28 national elections.

Haider is survived by a wife and two daughters.

The usual inclination to respect the dead can be forsaken here; this guy was a Hitler-lovin’ scumbag and everybody knew it. But the right wing is the right wing, wherever you go…

-jb