By Nick Baumann in the USA:
Trump National Security Adviser Met With Leader Of Party Founded By Nazis
“This is not just any opposition party: It is one with Nazi sympathies,” a former state department official said.
12/20/2016 12:09 pm ET
General Mike Flynn, Donald Trump’s pick to serve as his national security adviser, met several weeks ago with Heinz-Christian Strache, the head of Austria’s anti-immigrant Freedom Party, which was founded after World War II by former Nazis. …
“This is not just any opposition party: It is one with Nazi sympathies,” said Daniel Serwer, a former state department official who’s now a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “Nor is Flynn any national security adviser. He is a documented conspiracy propagator. His long-term strategy colleague, Steve Bannon, is an ethnic nationalist and anti-Semite. The president-elect is an anti-Muslim and anti-immigration bigot.”
There’s no doubt that Strache, who worries about “inverse racism, “Austrian youths” being “beaten up in discos” and the “risk of Islamization,” has a lot in common with Flynn, who has also warned of the dangers of Islam and called the religion a “cancer”, and Trump, who called for banning all Muslims from visiting the U.S. …
The Freedom Party’s first leader was Anton Reinthaller, who supported the Nazi party as early as 1928 and later served as a Nazi government official. Reinthaller was a member of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization-turned-secret police that executed much of the Holocaust. Although there’s no clear evidence that Reinthaller was directly involved in the shooting, gassing and torture of millions of Jews, Roma, communists, gay people and others, he served in the government that carried it out and did nothing to stop it.
Here’s a photo of him with Hitler during the Reichstag meeting about Germany’s annexation of Austria:
“Readers have a hard time distinguishing between ex-Nazis and neo-Nazis,” warned Swanee Hunt, a former U.S. ambassador to Austria who’s now a lecturer at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In Austria, “there was always this struggle with how do you deal with people who were Nazis,” she said. “Austria had lots and lots of people who were Nazis and sympathizers. It’s not like they just disappear into thin air.”
When Hunt served in Austria in the 1990s, the Freedom Party “had that strain that’s echoed here more in the alt-right,” she said, referring to white nationalist Richard Spencer’s term for American white nationalism and its associated movements. “It’s building on this anti-foreigner and anti-Muslim sentiment that you see, frankly, all over.” …
In 2012, Austria’s then-president canceled plans to give Strache an award after the Freedom Party leader was overheard claiming that he and his allies were the “new Jews” and that the fearsome heckling they received on their way into a gala at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace was “like Kristallnacht,” the night in 1938 when Austrian and German civilians, with the aid of Nazi paramilitaries, murdered Jews, destroyed Jewish-owned stores, burned hundreds of synagogues and sent tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps to die.
“Strache mocked the victims of the Holocaust by comparing himself and his fellow extremists to Jews and invoking Kristallnacht to complain about the anti-fascist protests,” Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, said at the time. “This trivialization is outrageous, but not surprising from Strache and his ilk.”
Now Strache carries Reinthaller’s party’s mantle ― and the president-elect’s national security adviser is meeting with him.
Trump used anti-Semitic tropes and received support from anti-Semites during his campaign for president. In July, Flynn retweeted and endorsed an anti-Semitic tweet, but later claimed it was a mistake.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
“At risk of appearing to be a conspiracy theorist myself, I think we are seeing an effort to build an international coalition of like-minded anti-Muslim, anti-immigration ethnic nationalists who can be depended upon to undermine the liberal democratic order of the West, in particular its international norms regarding peace and security … and its human rights standards,” Serwer said.