Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

Jörg Haider, 1950-2008

As Austria's best-known politician, Jörg Haider had a platform, and a knack, for provocation. The son of Nazi Party members, he once praised Hitler's "orderly" employment policies, a comment that led to his resignation as governor of rural Carpathia. He never held national office but in 2008 helped secure the far right its best showing since World War II. After he died in a car accident in October, his 27-year-old protégé revealed the two had shared a relationship that went "far beyond" friendship — a fitting coda for a man who still intrigues a nation.

William Lee Adams