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May 16, 1986 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-05-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

26 Friday, May 16, 1986



Austrians Angered By
Remarks About Waldheim


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Vienna (JTA) — Austrian
political circles last week
reacted angrily to attacks by
some Israeli officials on Kurt
Waldheim, particularly Foreign
Minister Yitzhak Shamir's re-
cent remark that it would be a
"tragedy" if Waldheim were
elected President of Austria.
That kind of talk is viewed
here as blatant interference in
Austria's internal. affairs.
Leopold Gratz, the Foreign Min-
ister, called it "clear meddling."
Gratz, who is a Socialist, did not
refer to charges that Waldheim,
candidate of the conservative
People's Party, has a Nazi past.
But he said it was unaccept-
able to the orderly, peaceful in-
tercourse between nations if in-
dividual governments tried to
influence democratic decisions
in other countries. He called
Shamir's remarks the second
such attempt to influence Aus-
trian voters. The first, he said,
was by Chancellor Helmut Kohl
of West Germany who spoke in
favor of Waldheim.
Shamir's statement was also
rejected by the president of the
Austrian-Israeli Friendship
Society, Walter Schwimmer,
who is a conservative member of
'Parliament. Waldheim polled

49.66 percent of the vote in Aus-
tria's Presidential elections May
4 and faces a run-off against his
Socialist rival, Kurt Steyrer, on
June 8.
Meanwhile, the Austrian Jew-
ish community has spoken out
against labeling Austria an anti-
Semitic country though it
acknowledged, in an advertise-
ment in the Vienna daily Kurier,
that certain "calculating politi-
cians" have "tried ruthlessly to
mobilize anti-Jewish sentiments
for their purposes." According
to the community, this is large-
ly responsible for the tarnished
image of Austria abroad since
the controversy over Waldheim
In another development,
according to an article in the up-
coming May 17 issue of The Na-
tion, Waldheim praised the
Third Reich of Adolf Hitler in
his 1944 doctoral dissertation in
law for the University of Vienna.
The thesis, entitled "The Idea
of the Reich," was an analysis of
"the federalist principles of the
German diplomat Konstantin
Frantz," as Waldheim described
it in his memoirs.
However, according to the ar-
ticle writer Mark Wurm, Frantz
was only a minor consular of-

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