It is not just any populist party that has caught strong power positions in the new Austrian government: they are the true heirs of Nazism, which they tirelessly try to rehabilitate.
However, it is not only because it was established by former SS and due to its nostalgia of the Third Reich that the FPÖ must be vigorously fought against, but particularly due to what they are today: a radically racist, antisemitic, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic and antidemocratic with a strong pro-fascist dimension party.
Indeed, it is the host of the neo-Nazis and of the genocide deniers of today. Almost half of its current parliamentarians belong to “Germanic Fraternities” forbidden to Jews, to homosexuals and to women, reserved for those who would be of a gruesomely fantasized “Aryan race”. It is very recently that a call to “gas a seventh million Jews” from the “Fraternity” of a leading regional FPÖ candidate has been disclosed. It is today that the newspaper of the current Minister of Defense, in charge of the military, qualify the survivors of the Holocaust as a “national plague.” It is a current proposal by the Minister of the Interior, who will guide the EU’s asylum policy in the second half of the year if nothing is done until then, to “concentrate the refugees” in camps. No later than last year, he was a guest speaker at the neo-fascist youth group “Identitäre” congress. “Viennese blood, too much foreignness, it is good for nobody” is one of its most recent slogans. It is today’s Europe and democracy that the FPÖ wants to destroy.
Even when compared to the ministers who entered, for the first time, the government in 2000, an event that had then quickly led the European countries to suspend all bilateral cooperation, the current far-right ministers are radicals, who now permissively express their hatred because of fifteen years of moral, ethical and political recession in Europe.
FPÖ represents a mortal danger for democracy and Europe. That is why, in Austria as elsewhere on the continent, we are all threatened, and we must all get involved.
The fight to be led does not put Austria in opposition to the rest of Europe or to the world. It puts the democrats, whatever their citizenships and their identities, in opposition to the irrevocable enemies of democracy. Permissively letting the ideologies which have brought the destruction of Europe expand will not help build its future. Vigorously fighting for its basic humanist values will.
That is why we, Austrians and non-Austrians together, attached to the values of democracy and to the European ideal, call to solidarity on civil society and on the political leaders of European countries. The latter must not abandon the Austrian democrats under the pretext that the government platform does not plan for a referendum on leaving the EU.
Abandoning the Austrian democrats, despite the beautiful popular mobilizations they have recently engaged, would be abandoning Europe and its fundamental values. It would be, in the name of short sighted calculations, letting the most precious thing we have in common since WWII be destroyed.
Concretely, Austrians and non-Austrians together, we call on the leaders of European countries to boycott the FPÖ ministers and the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, from the 1st of July to the 31st of December 2018.
In practice, this means that far right Austrian ministers should not be received by any of their European counterparts, who should not attend any meeting or encounter with them.
This also means a boycott by the Heads of States and governments, as well as by the ministers, of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Our common moral and political leap will determine the nature of our shared destiny, in Austria as elsewhere in Europe.
Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM & Coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians of Europe for the Prevention of Mass Atrocities, Lena Köhler, President of the Vienna University of the Austrian National Students Union ÖH (Austria), Beni Hess & Bini Guttmann, Co-Presidents of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students JÖH (Austria), Bernard Kouchner, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (France), The Green and Alternative Students – GRAS (Austria), Miguel-Angel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (Spain), Katharina Embacher & Eva Sager, Presidents of the Socialist Student Association in Austria & in Vienna (Austria), Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Former President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (East Timor), Hilde Grammel, President of the feminist organization Plattform 20000 Frauen (Austria), Christiane Taubira, Former Minister of Justice (France), Michael Genner, President of the refugees organization Asyl in Not (Austria), Oliviero Toscani, Photographer, Visual Artist (Italy), David Albrich, Speaker of the Left-wing platform movement Linkswende jetzt (Austria), Richard Prasquier, Vice-President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (France), Franz Kaltenbeck, Psychoanalyst and Editor-in-Chief of the Knowledge and Clinic Journal (Austria), Livia Fränkel, President of the Association of Holocaust Survivors in Sweden (Sweden), Dian Turnheim, Spokesperson of the feminist organization FASTI (Austria), Danis Tanovic, Oscar-winning Film-maker (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Peter Kraus, Member of the Vienna City Council (Austria), Can Dündar, Journalist (Turkey), Stefan Schaden, Board Member of the Austrian- Israeli Society (Austria), Nadia Gortzounian & Nicolas Tavitian, President and Director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union – Europe (Belgium), Matthias Krainz, Vice-President of the International Union of Socialist Youth – IUSY (Austria), Marcel Kabanda, President of Ibuka, Association of the Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, Birgit Hebein, Member of the Vienna City Council, Rithy Panh, Survivor, Writer and Film-maker (Cambodia), Advija Ibrahimovic, Spokewoman of the Women of Srebrenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Pari Ibrahim, Founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (Iraqi Kurdistan), Marie Darrieussecq, Writer (France), Evelynne Garbacz, Operations Manager of the Yad Vashem Foundation (United-Kingdom), Vojtêch Blodig, Deputy Director of the Terezín Memorial (Czech Republic), Angela Scalzo, Secretary General of SOS Razzismo (Italy), Mario Mazic, Program Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Croatia), Natalia Tarmas, Board Member of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Poland),Dominique Sopo, President SOS Racisme (France), Jimmy Losfeld, President of the Student union FAGE (France), Jovan Divjak, Former General, Deputy Director Commander of the Defence forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Defender of besieged Sarajevo, Executive Director of Education Builds Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Willy Silberstein, President of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism (Sweden), Pascal Bruckner, Author (France), Gérad Biard, Editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo (France), Naomi Kramer, President of the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Foundation (Canada), Alain Goldschläger, Former President of the Academic Committee of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Professor (Canada), Felicia Waldman, Professor at the Goldstein Goren Center for Hebrew Studies at the Bucharest university, Deputy Head of National Delegation at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (Romania), David Assouline, Vice-president of the Senate (France), Jack Lang, Former Minister of Education and of Culture (France), Christian Guémy – C215, Street Artist (France), Jacques Smits, Director of Territoires de la Mémoire (Belgium), Flemming Rose, Journalist (Denmark), Said Abdul, MP (Sweden), Ewa Grzegrzółka, Spokeswoman of the Association for Legal Intervention (Poland), Ivo Goldstein, Historian, Professor at the Zagreb University, Former Ambassador (Croatia), Benjamin Stora, Historian, President of the National City of the History of Immigration (France), Elie Chouraqui, Filmmaker (France), Reyan Tuvi, Documentary Filmmaker (Turkey), Marc Knobel, Researcher at the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions in France – CRIF (France), Jonathan Littell, Writer and Filmmaker (USA), Oran Baskin, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Ankara University (Turkey), Boris Raonić, President of the Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Alain Grabarz, President of the Hachomer Hatzaïr (France), Cengiz Aktar, University Professor (Turkey), Sari Nusseibeh, Philosophy Professor at Al-Quds University (Palestine), Mario Stasi, President of Licra (France), Gratien Mitsindo, Righteous of Rwanda (Rwanda), Marian Mandache, Executive Directof of Romani Criss (Romania), Ara Toranian, Co-president of the Coordination Council of the Armenian Associations, Editor-in-Chief of “Nouvelles d’Arménie” magazine (France), Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto, MP (Finland), Evren Çevik, Member of Foreign Affairs Commission of Peoples’ Democratic Party (Turkey), Samir Mehanovic, Film-maker (UK, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Jarosław Marciniak, Secretary of the Board, Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Poland), Anna Krenz, Dziewuchy Dziewuchom Berlin (Germany), Brahim Hammouche, MP (France), Mendel Goldstein, Michel Judkiewicz & Ina Van Looy, President, Director and Director of the Center of education to citizenship of the Jewish Secular Community Center (CCLJ) (Belgium), Ana Gomes, MEP (Portugal), Paula Sawicka, Member of the Board of Open Republic Association (Poland), Léo Cogos, Spokesperson for ‘Saut Jeune’ (France), Georges Marc Benamou, Writer and Journalist (France), Michael Dandy, MP (Australia), Maxim Efimov, Human rights activist, Social Philosopher, Writer, Civil Journalist (Ukraine), Oriol Lopez Badell, Coordinator of the European Observatory on Memories (Spain), Bojan Stankovic, Representative of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Serbia), Julie Ward, MEP (UK), Guillaume Leingre, Author (France), Aldo Merkoci, Spokesperson of Mjaft! Movement (Albania), Fadela Amara, Former Deputy Minister (France), Sihem Habchi, Former President of Ni Putes Ni Soumises (France), Muhammadi Yonous, President of the Greek Forum of Refugees (Greece), Gasana Ndoba, International Consultant in Human Rights (Rwanda), Donald Edward, Spokesman of the Nigerian Community in Greece (Greece), Brigitte Stora, Writer and Singer (France), Dr. Valery Hrytsuk, Coordinator of the International Association of Independent Democrats Against Authoritarian Regimes (Poland),Hana Stelzerová, Director of Czech Women’s Lobby (Czech Republic), Jette Møller, President of SOS Racisme Denmark (Denmark), Jozef Miker & Miroslav Broz, Spokesmen of Konexe (Czech Republic), Krassimir Kanev, President of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgaria), Hristo Ivanovski, President of the Alliance for Human Rights (Macedonia), Ahmed Moawia, Coordinator of the Greek Forum for Migrants (Greece), Levent Sensever, Spokesperson, DurDe! Platform (Turkey), Rasim Ibrahimagic, Program Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Janö Setét & Péter Bodgán, President and Member of We belong to you (Hungary)