The board of directors of the Jewish Community of Vienna, the Kultusvorstand, unanimously reaffirmed its cordon sanitaire towards the Freedom Party (FPÖ) at its meeting on April 17th 2023.
The resolution states:
“The IKG continues to maintain no political contacts with representatives of the FPÖ, including members of provincial governments belonging to this party. Discussions with authorities governed by FPÖ representatives will only be held in case of occasion and only at civil servant level.”
In March 2023, the ÖVP and the FPÖ formed a coalition in Lower Austria. This has provided an extreme right-wing state party with major political responsibility in Austria's largest federal state.
In accordance with the resolutions of the Kultusvorstand of January 9th 2018 and February 17th 2000, the IKG does not maintain any relations with the FPÖ, not even with representatives of the FPÖ who are members of a federal or provincial government. These decisions of the Kultusvorstand remain valid and unchanged. Due to the current political situation in Lower Austria, the Board of Directors, which was elected in December 2022 and whose area covers the provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria and Carinthia, clarifies the "cordon sanitaire" towards the FPÖ.
Since 2000, the FPÖ has gone through several changes of leadership. While the liberal wing of the party was weakened, the influence of German nationalist fraternities increased. The Lower Austrian FPÖ is characterized by a particularly strong affinity for neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Shoah deniers and racists.
For example, in 2010 the provincial party leader and now deputy governor, Udo Landbauer, promoted a songbook of the association “Junge Patrioten” (Young Patriots). The Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW) describes this association as “right-wing extremist” with a “völkisch-fundamentalist orientation”. The book, for which Landbauer solicited donations, contains several songs from the National Socialist era, including the national song of the Nazi organization “Bund Deutscher Mädel” (BDM).
Landbauer himself was deputy chairman of the German nationalist fraternity “Germania zu Wr. Neustadt” until 2018. On the premises of this fraternity, the police found songbooks with anti-Semitic extermination fantasies ("Gebt Gas, ihr alten Germanen, wir schaffen die siebte Million") during a house search.
In 2018, Martin Huber became whip of the FPÖ in the Lower Austrian parliament. After paying homage to Hitler on Facebook on 20 April, Huber was suspended in 2019 and convicted under the Nazi Prohibition Act in 2020. Expulsion from the FPÖ was announced; it is not known whether such a resolution was adopted.
The Second President of the Provincial Parliament, Gottfried Waldhäusl, came into the spotlight for his racist and anti-Semitic remarks. In 2018, as a regional councillor, he wanted to introduce compulsory registration for individuals buying kosher meat. The FPÖ leader Landbauer also advocated a general ban of Shechita for meat production.
Lower Austrian FPÖ members of parliament include officials who are members of right-wing extremist Facebook groups in which the Shoah was trivialized or even denied. For example, Edith Mühlberghuber and Peter Gerstner were members of the Facebook-group "Deutsches Reich".
Photos published in 2014 show state parliament member Andreas Bors posing with a Hitler salute. Another well-known FPÖ member of parliament is Hubert Keyl, a confidant of the neo-Nazi Gottfried Küssel.
Küssel, Keyl and the now FPÖ club chairman Reinhard Teufel were seen together at fraternity activities, for example at a celebration in Vienna in 2010.
Another FPÖ member of the provincial parliament who paid homage to former National Socialists is Dieter Dorner. He repeatedly took part in commemoration ceremonies for the Nazi pilot Walter Nowotny at the Vienna Central Cemetery. Neo-Nazis, right-wing extremists and FPÖ politicians regularly take part in this annual commemoration at Nowotny's grave. Dieter Dorner's campaign manager, Markus Ripfl, was expelled from the FPÖ in 2018 because of his fondness for the neo-Nazi band “Division Germania”.
The inhuman racism of the FPÖ Lower Austria should also be mentioned. For example, FPÖ chairman Landbauer spoke out against aid payments for earthquake victims in Turkey (in 2023). He described the allocation of the Foreign Disaster Fund as a "gift of millions to foreign countries".