Joerg Haider

Far-right politician Joerg Haider, who died in a car crash on Oct. 11 at 58, was Austria's best-known person, his sharp and perpetually tanned features ubiquitous on television and in magazines. He was also its most polarizing figure. During a long and checkered career, Haider stood out from the crowd of postwar Austrian politicians with his good looks, athletic lifestyle and devilish talent for provocation: he played on and amplified anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. sentiment, courted pariahs like Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein and at one point praised Adolf Hitler's "orderly" employment policies.

Born to parents who were early supporters of Hitler's...

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