Haider in His Own Words

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Jörg Haider is accused of making statements that seem to praise certain aspects of Nazism. Here's what he actually said:February, 1985
When then Austrian Defense Minister and Freedom Party member Friedhelm Frischenschlager went to meet Walter Reder, a former SS officer return-ing from imprisonment in Italy for war crimes, Haider defended him, saying: "He did not receive a criminal but a soldier who did his duty for his fatherland during the war ... If you are going to speak about war crimes, you should admit such crimes were com-mitted by all sides and not pick on a few German soldiers."

August, 1988
In a live debate on Austrian TV: "You know as well as I do that the Austrian nation was a miscarriage, an ideological miscarriage."

June, 1991
During a debate in the provincial parliament of Carinthia, where he was Governor: "An orderly employment policy was carried out in the Third Reich, which the government in Vienna cannot manage."

May, 1992
Amid the furor created by the Carinthian government's decision to honor a gathering of Waffen SS veterans, Haider accused Interior Minister Franz Loeschnak of making "primitive attacks" on "respectable" war veterans, while letting crime by immigrants go unchecked.

February, 1995
In a debate in the Austrian parliament on bomb attacks on Romanies, Haider referred to Nazi concentration camps as "prison camps," though he later said that he meant "concentration camps."

September, 1995
Haider in a speech to a gathering of war veterans: "A people that does not honor earlier generations is a people condemned to ruin. We shall prove that we are not to be wiped out ... We are morally superior to other people." After amateur video footage of the speech was broadcast on television in December, Haider said that "... the Waffen SS was part of the Wehrmacht [army] and because of that it deserves every honor and recognition."

February, 2000
As a condition of approval for their coalition, Haider and Wolfgang Schüssel last week signed a statement asserting that "nationalism, dictatorship and intolerance brought war, xenophobia, bondage, racism and mass murder... [They] are an exhortation to permanent alertness against all forms of dictatorship and totalitarianism." After the signing, however, Haider told German TV: "It is an affront to the public that such matters of course have to be signed time and again. I have no intention to wander about in the world and apologize for all kinds of things." He later said to Die Zeit: "There is a state of excitement in the European chicken coop although the fox hasn't even got in yet."