New Nazi songbook allegations hit Austria far-right




VIENNA, Austria - Austria&39;s far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) was hit by fresh allegations of anti-Semitism on Tuesday, just weeks after a similar scandal forced the resignation of a high-ranking party candidate.

A songbook from the FPOe-linked Bruna Sudetia student fraternity contained similar violently anti-Semitic song lyrics to the previous case, Falter magazine reported.

The weekly said the fraternity is chaired by Herwig Goetschober, describing him as a close confidante of transport minister Norbert Hofer, who came close to being elected president in 2016.

Goetschober was given responsibility for social media in Hofer&39;s ministerial press office and also represents the party on a district council. 

The opposition Socialists and Greens reacted by calling for Goetschober&39;s resignation.

But Goetschober told Falter he had no knowledge of the songbook and "categorically" rejected its contents.

Earlier this month Udo Landbauer, lead candidate for the FPOe in elections in Lower Austria state, resigned after revelations about his own student fraternity. He denied all wrongdoing.

As in that case, the latest songbook to come to light includes the lyrics: "In their midst comes the Jew Ben Gurion: &39;Step on the gas, old Germanics, we can make it to seven million&39;."

Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust during World War II, many of them in gas chambers at Nazi death camps. David Ben-Gurion was the first prime minister of Israel.

The latest book also contains songs by writer Hans Baumann, which were composed for Nazi youth organisations.

Other lyrics in the Bruna Sudetia book celebrate the death of Jews, allude to rules excluding Jews from joining fraternities and refer to Austria as being "separated" from Germany.

The new revelations emerged just days after the FPOe appointed a committee of historians to look into its own history.

However, the party said it has no powers to compel student fraternities to participate in the inquiry as they are private organisations.

Prominent researchers have said that without looking at the influence of the fraternities, many of which have ultra-nationalist leanings and  close links to the FPOe, the committee risks turning into a whitewashing exercise for the party&39;s image.

The FPOe leadership insists it rejects all forms of Nazism, anti-Semitism and racism.