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Despite pressure, Austria clings on to its neutrality

Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer. Credit: Getty

February 22, 2023 - 5:46pm

As countries like Switzerland and Sweden have abandoned their policy of neutrality in response to the Russian invasion, one country has refused to budge. In recent weeks, Austria has become the centre of heated discussion over its neutrality, with critics arguing that it should provide military support to Ukraine. Earlier this month, a letter whose signatories included Austrian politician and First Vice-President of the European Parliament Othmar Karas called for a new line on the country’s security policy.

The desire to militarise is understandable in the face of the Ukrainian conflict, but it fails to account for Austria’s unique history. Led by a cadre of shrewd politicians in the 1950s, Austria avoided being separated or under permanent occupation by turning itself into a neutral country. This position was balanced by being ideologically part of the West, but traditionally tied to the East due to a long shared history with Central and Eastern European nations that once were part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

Small but beautiful, Austria managed to attract the UN to its capital while simultaneously being a hub for all kind of spy activities, a role that was often embraced as being part of Austria’s identity as a self-proclaimed “bridge builder.” This self-perception started in the 1970s under Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, a social democrat who still enjoys cult-status years after his death for his pro-Arab positions (despite being Jewish himself) and establishing his country as a place for negotiations of world powers.

The historical background is important to understand why, for example, support for Ukraine is lower in Austria than in other European countries. The population sees neutrality as part of its identity, and would like to stay as disengaged from world politics as possible. In light of the war in Ukraine, however, this part is becoming harder to play. The current chancellor Karl Nehammer was the first and only European to visit Moscow after the invasion begun, and Austria’s president Alexander van der Bellen has visited Kiev. Keeping communication channels with both sides falls in line with Vienna’s general approach to foreign policy.

With the war ongoing, there is growing demand both internationally and domestically to show stronger support for Ukraine and take a tougher stance on Russia. But in distinctly Austrian fashion, the government in Vienna has issued 18 visas for a Russian delegation to attend the OSCE Parliamentary — despite the entire delegation led by the Russian Duma’s deputy speaker, Pyotr Tolstoy, being under EU sanctions. This follows another scandal that involved Austrian authorities deporting two children to Russia. It therefore comes as no surprise that accusations are mounting that Russia has too much influence in Austria, but this influence plays a smaller role than Austria’s own foreign policy traditions.

Contrary to many of the public voices calling for a harder approach vis-à-vis Russia, the general population stubbornly sticks to the dogma of neutrality. It has indeed served the country well in the past, so one can understand the motivation, but at the same time it is hard to pretend that the clocks have stopped ticking on 23rd February, 2022.

All of this portends to larger unresolved questions in the EU, which has to face the fact that some member states like Austria do not see the Union being a unified geopolitical actor, but a club to pursue one’s goals. As long as the world remained relatively peaceful, different views could be glossed over – but time has run out.

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J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
1 year ago

some member states like Austria do not see the Union being a unified geopolitical actor, but a club to pursue one’s goals.
That single observation gave me more insight into the EU than the reams of commentary I’ve read in various publications.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

One might add, a club with which to beat those member states who disagree with the centralised bureaucratic decisions of the European Commission.

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You display an ignorance of how the EU works. The EU Commission implements decisions, it doesn’t make decisions. Decisions are made by the members states in the EU Council in combination with the EU Parliament.
Whatever decisions are implemented would have been agreed to and signed off by the Austrian Govt in the EU Council where decisions are mostly unanimous even where QMV applies.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Well, that is how EU is supposed to work but pretending it works like this is just laughable.

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

It does actually work like this. All you’re obviously doing is subscribing to myths about the EU Commission.

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

It does actually work like this. All you’re obviously doing is subscribing to myths about the EU Commission.

R Wright
RW
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

“The EU Commission implements decisions, it doesn’t make decisions.”
Pure delusion. The Commission proposes legislation. It makes decisions.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Well, that is how EU is supposed to work but pretending it works like this is just laughable.

R Wright
RW
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

“The EU Commission implements decisions, it doesn’t make decisions.”
Pure delusion. The Commission proposes legislation. It makes decisions.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Exactly.
Like Poland for refusing implementation of EU demands in areas outside of EU treaties.

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You display an ignorance of how the EU works. The EU Commission implements decisions, it doesn’t make decisions. Decisions are made by the members states in the EU Council in combination with the EU Parliament.
Whatever decisions are implemented would have been agreed to and signed off by the Austrian Govt in the EU Council where decisions are mostly unanimous even where QMV applies.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Exactly.
Like Poland for refusing implementation of EU demands in areas outside of EU treaties.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think the best way of seeing the EU is as a compromise machine. Countries are committed to finding a workable solution. That and the veto puts tremendous pressure on getting some kind of agreement rather than giving up on the project. The wide scope of the EU makes for lots of tradeable concessions, and the supranational enforcement mechanisms increase trust that promises will be kept. And, as Ireland under Brexit has shown, as a member in good standing you can count on the EU having your back. The all-night sessions and the results generally do not make for a pretty sight, but it is a way to forge compromise between nations that otherwise would just be squabbling.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

One might add, a club with which to beat those member states who disagree with the centralised bureaucratic decisions of the European Commission.

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think the best way of seeing the EU is as a compromise machine. Countries are committed to finding a workable solution. That and the veto puts tremendous pressure on getting some kind of agreement rather than giving up on the project. The wide scope of the EU makes for lots of tradeable concessions, and the supranational enforcement mechanisms increase trust that promises will be kept. And, as Ireland under Brexit has shown, as a member in good standing you can count on the EU having your back. The all-night sessions and the results generally do not make for a pretty sight, but it is a way to forge compromise between nations that otherwise would just be squabbling.

J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
1 year ago

some member states like Austria do not see the Union being a unified geopolitical actor, but a club to pursue one’s goals.
That single observation gave me more insight into the EU than the reams of commentary I’ve read in various publications.

Guido Karelse
GK
Guido Karelse
1 year ago

It makes you wonder, why Hungary is reiving all the flack for supporting ‘exactly’ the same stance on the war in Ukraine. Maybe because Orbán is more vocal about it in public, and Nehammer is playing the diplomatic violin. One thing is for sure, the Austria-Hungarian Empire apparently is not completely something of the past. And maybe these central European countries know a thing or two, the West likes to forget. Let’s pay attention.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

Orban is widely regarded as a nationalist and a vocal critic of the global establishment, so they sick their dogs in the media on him. It’s not that complicated. Orban is a threat to globalism, Austria isn’t.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Too cruel!
Poor little squeaky clean Austria. Was it her fault that Adolph was born and grew up there?

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Poor squeaky little Ukraine. Was it any wonder some of the best Waffen SS units were Ukrainian. Lots of statues to Nazis in Ukraine. Any statues of Hitler in Austria?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

Well, having Jewish aunt I am quite familiar with Ukrainian nationalists but you don’t seem to appreciate complexities of this part of Europe.
Soviet Union committed genocide on Ukrainians in 30s.
So, many Ukrainian nationalists saw Nazi Germany as a lesser evil and path to Ukranian statehood.
Obviously, it was wishful thinking, completely ignoring Hitlers plans for Ukraine.

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Understood Andrew. My only purpose in reminding Charles of the bad actions of some Ukrainians in WW2 is to illustrate the unfairness of dredging up history to discredit a nation’s (in this case Austria) current policy – particularly neutrality, the subject of the article. His comments were unfair in the extreme. “Only the guilty are guilty.”

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Understood Andrew. My only purpose in reminding Charles of the bad actions of some Ukrainians in WW2 is to illustrate the unfairness of dredging up history to discredit a nation’s (in this case Austria) current policy – particularly neutrality, the subject of the article. His comments were unfair in the extreme. “Only the guilty are guilty.”

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I tried to reply, but forgot to asterix Na*is and it is awaiting approval.
Strange how writing Communism never awaits approval?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

Well, having Jewish aunt I am quite familiar with Ukrainian nationalists but you don’t seem to appreciate complexities of this part of Europe.
Soviet Union committed genocide on Ukrainians in 30s.
So, many Ukrainian nationalists saw Nazi Germany as a lesser evil and path to Ukranian statehood.
Obviously, it was wishful thinking, completely ignoring Hitlers plans for Ukraine.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I tried to reply, but forgot to asterix Na*is and it is awaiting approval.
Strange how writing Communism never awaits approval?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago

And Adolph was vegan, like many woke nutters I know in uk.
Thankfully, it is difficult to be poor vegan in Vienna…

Rob N
RN
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

There is considerable, but not undisputed, evidence that he was vegetarian in later part of his life but none I believe that he was a vegan.

It is possible that the vegetarianism was exaggerated and/or just a myth encouraged by Goebbels in an attempt to portray him as some sort of ascetic monk.

Rob N
RN
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

There is considerable, but not undisputed, evidence that he was vegetarian in later part of his life but none I believe that he was a vegan.

It is possible that the vegetarianism was exaggerated and/or just a myth encouraged by Goebbels in an attempt to portray him as some sort of ascetic monk.

Simon Blanchard
SB
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago

Well someone was always going to bring THAT up!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

And no doubt they will do so for the next thousand years.

Have Caligula and Nero been forgotten?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

And no doubt they will do so for the next thousand years.

Have Caligula and Nero been forgotten?

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Poor squeaky little Ukraine. Was it any wonder some of the best Waffen SS units were Ukrainian. Lots of statues to Nazis in Ukraine. Any statues of Hitler in Austria?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago

And Adolph was vegan, like many woke nutters I know in uk.
Thankfully, it is difficult to be poor vegan in Vienna…

Simon Blanchard
SB
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago

Well someone was always going to bring THAT up!

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Being an Orban fanboy is no less deluded than those who were fanboys for Putin. All you do is see what you want to see in projecting fantasies on to Orban.

Noel Chiappa
NC
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

But Orban has some upsides.

Noel Chiappa
NC
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

But Orban has some upsides.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Too cruel!
Poor little squeaky clean Austria. Was it her fault that Adolph was born and grew up there?

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Being an Orban fanboy is no less deluded than those who were fanboys for Putin. All you do is see what you want to see in projecting fantasies on to Orban.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

No, the echoes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire crop up everywhere in more or less subtle form. Austria and Hungary are still very pally and when everyone else is shouting at Hungary for whatever new outcry Orbán has produced, you’ll only ever hear very muted criticism from Austria. They won’t bash their old buddy too hard.
On a general note – Hungarians are just an edgier lot than the Austrians. I’ve been living in Vienna for 18 years and you do become very familiar with the neighbours. Hungarians are very friendly and hospitable, but they aren’t as cuddly as, say, the Czechs or the Slovaks. Orbán, for me, fits right into my general perception. The word I’d use for them in German is “eigenwillig”. My Slovakian friend calls them “our wild neighbours”.

Steven Somsen
SS
Steven Somsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

“And maybe these central European countries know a thing or two, the West likes to forget. Let’s pay attention.”
Yes.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

It helps to ignore the reality, if you don’t have neighbours likely to invade you and commit genocide on your population, don’t you agree?
Austria has a track record here. Austrian Nazis were the worst in occupied countries in ww2.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

Orban is widely regarded as a nationalist and a vocal critic of the global establishment, so they sick their dogs in the media on him. It’s not that complicated. Orban is a threat to globalism, Austria isn’t.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

No, the echoes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire crop up everywhere in more or less subtle form. Austria and Hungary are still very pally and when everyone else is shouting at Hungary for whatever new outcry Orbán has produced, you’ll only ever hear very muted criticism from Austria. They won’t bash their old buddy too hard.
On a general note – Hungarians are just an edgier lot than the Austrians. I’ve been living in Vienna for 18 years and you do become very familiar with the neighbours. Hungarians are very friendly and hospitable, but they aren’t as cuddly as, say, the Czechs or the Slovaks. Orbán, for me, fits right into my general perception. The word I’d use for them in German is “eigenwillig”. My Slovakian friend calls them “our wild neighbours”.

Steven Somsen
SS
Steven Somsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

“And maybe these central European countries know a thing or two, the West likes to forget. Let’s pay attention.”
Yes.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Guido Karelse

It helps to ignore the reality, if you don’t have neighbours likely to invade you and commit genocide on your population, don’t you agree?
Austria has a track record here. Austrian Nazis were the worst in occupied countries in ww2.

Guido Karelse
GK
Guido Karelse
1 year ago

It makes you wonder, why Hungary is reiving all the flack for supporting ‘exactly’ the same stance on the war in Ukraine. Maybe because Orbán is more vocal about it in public, and Nehammer is playing the diplomatic violin. One thing is for sure, the Austria-Hungarian Empire apparently is not completely something of the past. And maybe these central European countries know a thing or two, the West likes to forget. Let’s pay attention.

M Lux
ML
M Lux
1 year ago

The authors disapproving tone towards Austrian neutrality is a disappointing reminder that even the most steadfastly neutral countries are under immense western media pressure to bow to the warmongerers.
Even the Swiss were pressured into the sanctions – the suisse papers coming out just two days before the war started, although they have oddly managed to avoid basically any blowback (wonder why).
Creating dialogue between east (Russia) and west (America) with regards to European security is literally what the OSCE is there for, but the invitation to the Russians for a forum for diplomacy has been reported (in anglo media) as being some kind of travesty and stab in the back from the Austrians.
Austria is uniquely suited to play this role, as the author explains, but honestly, had I not looked at the linked polling on the topic of (DOGMATIC!) neutrality, I would’ve assumed the Austrians are fully on board with the war hysteria – I happen to live in Vienna. In actuality, it shows just the opposite: neutrality is considered either fairly or very important to 91% of respondents – an increase of 10% since 2019!
So when the author talks about claims of “domestic demand to show support for Ukraine” by “public voices” (and apparently Austria’s top Eurocrat), what he means is, the elites want to try and cash in on this, despite what most people want.
Just goes to show how strong and far the winds of western propaganda blow I suppose.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

Your view is typical of many freeloaders who expect others to protect your neutrality.
It helps to not have neighbours willing to invade and commit genocide on your nation.
What about swapping places with Ukraine.
Would you still be neutral?
Oh, wait.
Sweden and Finland decided that is bad idea.
But they are closer to Russia.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

Your view is typical of many freeloaders who expect others to protect your neutrality.
It helps to not have neighbours willing to invade and commit genocide on your nation.
What about swapping places with Ukraine.
Would you still be neutral?
Oh, wait.
Sweden and Finland decided that is bad idea.
But they are closer to Russia.

M Lux
ML
M Lux
1 year ago

The authors disapproving tone towards Austrian neutrality is a disappointing reminder that even the most steadfastly neutral countries are under immense western media pressure to bow to the warmongerers.
Even the Swiss were pressured into the sanctions – the suisse papers coming out just two days before the war started, although they have oddly managed to avoid basically any blowback (wonder why).
Creating dialogue between east (Russia) and west (America) with regards to European security is literally what the OSCE is there for, but the invitation to the Russians for a forum for diplomacy has been reported (in anglo media) as being some kind of travesty and stab in the back from the Austrians.
Austria is uniquely suited to play this role, as the author explains, but honestly, had I not looked at the linked polling on the topic of (DOGMATIC!) neutrality, I would’ve assumed the Austrians are fully on board with the war hysteria – I happen to live in Vienna. In actuality, it shows just the opposite: neutrality is considered either fairly or very important to 91% of respondents – an increase of 10% since 2019!
So when the author talks about claims of “domestic demand to show support for Ukraine” by “public voices” (and apparently Austria’s top Eurocrat), what he means is, the elites want to try and cash in on this, despite what most people want.
Just goes to show how strong and far the winds of western propaganda blow I suppose.

Janko M
JM
Janko M
1 year ago

Switzerland is still legally neutral, sits in the constitution, thus binding it to the international rights and obligations of neutral states. However, the political neutrality has been gravely impacted by the adoption of sanctions and the pressure put to enable re-exportation of arms.

It is stunning though what a deep identity crisis the war has produced across Europe, as its own ideological blind spots have left it unprepared for the Hobbesian world it thought it left behind.

Janko M
JM
Janko M
1 year ago

Switzerland is still legally neutral, sits in the constitution, thus binding it to the international rights and obligations of neutral states. However, the political neutrality has been gravely impacted by the adoption of sanctions and the pressure put to enable re-exportation of arms.

It is stunning though what a deep identity crisis the war has produced across Europe, as its own ideological blind spots have left it unprepared for the Hobbesian world it thought it left behind.

Emmanuel MARTIN
EM
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

Austrians prefer peace to war. That seems a very reasonnable preference. There is nothing wrong with neutrality, and no Russian troop recently set foot in Austria or on the austrian border.
It has been maybe 3 or 4 centuries since the last major austrain military victory. The XIX and XX century austrian military history is an incessant litany of defeats, from Napoleoniv Wars to Sadowa to WW1 and WW2,, retreats and bloodbathes that killed the empire’s youth and prosperity
Give peace a chance, draft warmongers in first line infantry

Last edited 1 year ago by Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
EM
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

Austrians prefer peace to war. That seems a very reasonnable preference. There is nothing wrong with neutrality, and no Russian troop recently set foot in Austria or on the austrian border.
It has been maybe 3 or 4 centuries since the last major austrain military victory. The XIX and XX century austrian military history is an incessant litany of defeats, from Napoleoniv Wars to Sadowa to WW1 and WW2,, retreats and bloodbathes that killed the empire’s youth and prosperity
Give peace a chance, draft warmongers in first line infantry

Last edited 1 year ago by Emmanuel MARTIN
j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago

I suspect history will reflect on how remarkable and unprecedented it was that Europe stayed largely united against Putin’s aggression. And in much the same way that Putin’s aggression strengthened NATO, brutal invasion does cause all to reflect on what it means to be a democratic nation state with strength through allies.
We sometimes forget Europe remains the most prosperous, democratic bloc of nations in the World – by far. We are a bit blase’ about this because we no longer notice how much has changed for the better. It has issues and disagreements. Those disagreements are visible and usually public, because that’s allowed and part of western values. That is still not typical in many parts of the World. Thus how fortunate are we to inhabit some part of this small part of the Earth here in the 21stC. Austrians, like the vast majority of eastern Europeans will recognise this too.

j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago

I suspect history will reflect on how remarkable and unprecedented it was that Europe stayed largely united against Putin’s aggression. And in much the same way that Putin’s aggression strengthened NATO, brutal invasion does cause all to reflect on what it means to be a democratic nation state with strength through allies.
We sometimes forget Europe remains the most prosperous, democratic bloc of nations in the World – by far. We are a bit blase’ about this because we no longer notice how much has changed for the better. It has issues and disagreements. Those disagreements are visible and usually public, because that’s allowed and part of western values. That is still not typical in many parts of the World. Thus how fortunate are we to inhabit some part of this small part of the Earth here in the 21stC. Austrians, like the vast majority of eastern Europeans will recognise this too.

Douglas McNeish
DM
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago

From a comfortable distance from Russia, with NATO buffer states in between, Austria can afford to play go-between – unlike, say, Finland or Poland with long land borders with Russia.

Douglas McNeish
DM
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago

From a comfortable distance from Russia, with NATO buffer states in between, Austria can afford to play go-between – unlike, say, Finland or Poland with long land borders with Russia.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Aside from Red Bull and the charming genius who created it, what else does Austria do or have?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Aside from Red Bull and the charming genius who created it, what else does Austria do or have?

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

This is an expression of Austria’s distinct allergy to courage and sticking one’s neck out, poured into foreign policy form. Hell will freeze over before a distinct position is articulated and defended in Austria’s foreign policy. Some might see that as smart diplomacy – I tend to think it is two-faced cowardice.
For most of the time, foreign policy is regarded in Austria as something you have to have a ministry for, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s basically an annoying formality. I remember when the later Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was promoted to Minister for Foreign Affairs back in about 2014: there was a bit of an outcry, but plenty of people looked on the Foreign Ministry as a nice, quiet place to “park” a promising politician while he matured. Can you imagine that happening in the UK or the US?
Final note: Othmar Karas. A politician worth listening to for the sole reason that you then know which opinion you don’t want to have.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

This is an expression of Austria’s distinct allergy to courage and sticking one’s neck out, poured into foreign policy form. Hell will freeze over before a distinct position is articulated and defended in Austria’s foreign policy. Some might see that as smart diplomacy – I tend to think it is two-faced cowardice.
For most of the time, foreign policy is regarded in Austria as something you have to have a ministry for, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s basically an annoying formality. I remember when the later Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was promoted to Minister for Foreign Affairs back in about 2014: there was a bit of an outcry, but plenty of people looked on the Foreign Ministry as a nice, quiet place to “park” a promising politician while he matured. Can you imagine that happening in the UK or the US?
Final note: Othmar Karas. A politician worth listening to for the sole reason that you then know which opinion you don’t want to have.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

who cares?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Austria represented about 8 per cent of the population of the Third Reich, but about 13 per cent of the SS, about 40 per cent of the concentration camp personnel, and as much as 70 per cent of the people who headed the concentration camps.

That legacy will last for at least a 1,000 years. In the meantime Austria must remain supine and embarrassed.In fact it is very fortunate indeed that it has been permitted to survive.

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Surely you’re familiar with the number of Ukrainian Waffen SS units and concentration camp guards. Lots of statues and plaques in Ukraine honoring Nazis. How many in Austria?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

Keeping repeating yourself doesn’t make you right, Frank.

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Being right makes one right Dougie. Unless there is an error in either of my responses to Charles repeating himself.

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank Farrell
Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Being right makes one right Dougie. Unless there is an error in either of my responses to Charles repeating himself.

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank Farrell
CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I am talking about Austria NOT Ukraine.
Do you really DENY Austria’s culpability?

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Lots of culpability in Europe Charles. You could contribute to a meaningful debate about neutrality by actually debating neutrality instead of slandering an entire country for evil actions that a minority of its citizens committed seventy years ago.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

ghastly place

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Lots of culpability in Europe Charles. You could contribute to a meaningful debate about neutrality by actually debating neutrality instead of slandering an entire country for evil actions that a minority of its citizens committed seventy years ago.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

ghastly place

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I replied, but it is awaiting approval.
Statues are for Ukrainian nationalists not Nazis.
You know little about this part of Europe.
Btw, I am Polish. I should hate Ukrainians, just watch movie Wolyn or read about Warsaw Uprising.
But they face genocide by Russia, so I am with them.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

Keeping repeating yourself doesn’t make you right, Frank.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I am talking about Austria NOT Ukraine.
Do you really DENY Austria’s culpability?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank Farrell

I replied, but it is awaiting approval.
Statues are for Ukrainian nationalists not Nazis.
You know little about this part of Europe.
Btw, I am Polish. I should hate Ukrainians, just watch movie Wolyn or read about Warsaw Uprising.
But they face genocide by Russia, so I am with them.

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago

This is brilliant post, thank you.
Mine, not as good, is awaiting approval because I forgot to asterix Na*is.
Strange typing Communism newer makes you waiting for approval.
Such a beautiful ideology, so humane with great track record…

Chris W
CW
Chris W
1 year ago

Interesting if you do not analyse Austria and Germany but instead, Catholics and Protestants. You might then create a separate competition between Bavaria and Prussia.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Yes that is an interesting point. Off course Austria is just as Catholic as is its neighbour Bavaria.

Oddly Protestant Prussia seems to have been punished far more severely, expunged from the very map of Europe in fact, yet was nothing like as blatantly culpable as both Austria and Bavaria.

I wonder why this was?

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

Hazarding a guess, although everything started in the south with the Austrian corporal and the rallies at Nürnberg (avoiding asterisks), the powerhouse of Germany and the industrial centre was seen to be Prussia. So, Prussia was punished and Bavaria was sort of folksy and cute. How could you punish those poor cuddly people?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes all those ‘Lederhosen.’ coupled with the rather ‘busty’ female attire for the Oktoberfest!

However of crucial importance was the fact that Bavaria was occupied by US, whilst poor old Prussia got the Russians. QED.

ps. Munich still reeks of you know who! For example his favourite restaurant is still functioning almost untouched!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes all those ‘Lederhosen.’ coupled with the rather ‘busty’ female attire for the Oktoberfest!

However of crucial importance was the fact that Bavaria was occupied by US, whilst poor old Prussia got the Russians. QED.

ps. Munich still reeks of you know who! For example his favourite restaurant is still functioning almost untouched!

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

Hazarding a guess, although everything started in the south with the Austrian corporal and the rallies at Nürnberg (avoiding asterisks), the powerhouse of Germany and the industrial centre was seen to be Prussia. So, Prussia was punished and Bavaria was sort of folksy and cute. How could you punish those poor cuddly people?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Yes that is an interesting point. Off course Austria is just as Catholic as is its neighbour Bavaria.

Oddly Protestant Prussia seems to have been punished far more severely, expunged from the very map of Europe in fact, yet was nothing like as blatantly culpable as both Austria and Bavaria.

I wonder why this was?

Frank Farrell
FF
Frank Farrell
1 year ago

Surely you’re familiar with the number of Ukrainian Waffen SS units and concentration camp guards. Lots of statues and plaques in Ukraine honoring Nazis. How many in Austria?

Andrew F
AF
Andrew F
1 year ago

This is brilliant post, thank you.
Mine, not as good, is awaiting approval because I forgot to asterix Na*is.
Strange typing Communism newer makes you waiting for approval.
Such a beautiful ideology, so humane with great track record…

Chris W
CW
Chris W
1 year ago

Interesting if you do not analyse Austria and Germany but instead, Catholics and Protestants. You might then create a separate competition between Bavaria and Prussia.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Austria represented about 8 per cent of the population of the Third Reich, but about 13 per cent of the SS, about 40 per cent of the concentration camp personnel, and as much as 70 per cent of the people who headed the concentration camps.

That legacy will last for at least a 1,000 years. In the meantime Austria must remain supine and embarrassed.In fact it is very fortunate indeed that it has been permitted to survive.