Photo: AP
Kampl holds on to seat and party affiliation
Photo: AP

Senior role for pro-Nazi parliamentarian

Siegfried Kampl slated to take rotating presidential post in upper house of Bundesrat; has deplored alleged persecution of Austrain Nazis

Siegfried Kampl, 66, an Austrian parliamentarian who in the past has made pro-Nazi statements promised late last month to resign his seat by the end of May. However, it seems he has given the idea second thought.


Kampl announced that he would be appointed president of the upper house of Austria’s Bundesrat.


The seat of president is filled on a rotating basis by representatives of the country’s various provinces. If Kampl keeps his parliamentary seat, he will get the presidential post in July.


Kampl said he would give up his seat after he deplored the "brutal persecution" of Austrian Nazis after World War II in a radio interview on April 19.


Last month, he said his father was a member of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party just like "more than 99 percent" of Austrians.


On Sunday, Kampl, who is also running for mayor of Gurk, said that he stood behind what he had said.


“I might phrase my views a little differently, but fundamentally there is no change,” he said.


Kampl also said that he would resign from Joerg Haider’s Alliance for Austria’s Future, a junior partner in the ruling coalition. But then he had a change of mind.


He said he would not resign due to the “provocative” manner in which he was asked by Bundesrat president George Pehm, a Social Democrat. 


Austrian radical right


Haider has come to Kampl’s defense.


"They are actually asking people to chase him out and treat him as though he has committed a crime," Haider said in an interview with ORF public radio.


In April, days after the Kampl controversy broke out, another right-wing parliamentarian said the existence of the Nazi gas chambers “remains to be proven.”


The resurgence of the radical right in Austria has hurt that country’s diplomatic ties with Israel. In February 2000, Israel withdrew its ambassador from Vienna after Haider’s party joined the government.


Israel only returned its ambassador three years later when Haider was no longer occupying office.


פרסום ראשון: 05.29.05, 23:59
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