Research Theme: Right-wing extremism after 1945

From the mid-1970s onwards, DÖW began to concern itself in a more concentrated manner with current right-wing extremism, not least because organizations and publications had slandered the Austrian resistance movement, played down its significance or even negated the war guilt of Hitler's Germany. In cooperation with Austrian university historians, the first edition of the comprehensive volume Rechtsextremismus in Österreich nach 1945 (right-wing
extremism in Austria since 1945) was published in 1979. The book went through five editions up to 1981 and became the standard work on the subject.



Handbuch des österreichischen Rechtsextremismus


The DÖW publication on right-wing extremism in Austria released in 1993 demonstrated the dominant role of Haider/FPÖ in the far Right in Austria. The publication, with its focus on representation and analysis, has since been released in 4 editions selling more than 20,000 copies. It is currently being revised and will be published online.



Incorrigibly Right. Right-Wing Extremists, "Revisionists" and Anti-Semites in Austrian Politics Today


This brief booklet was edited in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League in New York.



Das Netz des Hasses. Rassistische, rechtsextreme und neonazistische Propaganda im Internet (racist, right-wing and neo-nazi propaganda on the net)


The increasing number of right-wing documents finding their way onto the internet led the DÖW in 1997 to release a publication analysing this topic.





In recent years DÖW has had to contend with historical "revisionism," a trend in pseudo-historical writing anchored primarily in international neo-Nazi circles and pledged to rehabilitate National Socialism. As such propaganda was being spread in schools, DÖW felt it had to set the record straight for teachers and pupils. Following the publication of a small brochure on Emil Lachout, an Austrian who denied the existence of gas chambers in concentration camps, DÖW, in cooperation with the Ministry for Education, issued the booklet Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit, Wien 1991 (running amok against facts), thereby challenging the "arguments" of the "revisionists" (including their so-called chemical expertises) and disclosing the manipulations and falsifications of authors like Leuchter, Faurisson, Irving and others. In 1995 there appeared a fully revised edition, which took account of recent publications in Germany, under the title Wahrheit und "Auschwitzlüge" (truth and the Auschwitz lie). An extended edition containing references to German extreme right-wing politics followed one year later under the title Die Auschwitzleugner.



In connection with neo-Nazi historical propaganda, DÖW has always demanded that laws banning Nazi activities be applied or called for new legislation when existing laws did not suffice. Simon Wiesenthal was an influential supporter of DÖW in this question, and the law banning Nazi activities was amended in 1992. According to the new legislation, all attempts to deny, play down, justify or glorify the genocidal policies of Nazism are criminal offences. In subsequent years a number of leading neo-Nazi activists received stiff sentences in Austrian courts.



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