Chairman of the SPO party in Schwechat David Stockinger thinks the fascist gatherings in the Austrian town of Bleiburg “must stop. ”
In a statement to Tanjug, Stockinger stressed that he supported the initiative of Austrian parliament member Katarina Kuharovic (SPO), in this regard.
“As a socialist and an Austrian I find it unbearable to, year after year, look at the neo-fascist Ustasha circles on Austrian soil. The Second Republic was founded as a result of the lesson of the dark age of Hitler’s fascism as a democratic and independent republic based on anti-fascist principles. This tradition needs to be continued and any fascist and Nazi activities prohibited,” he said.
The Austrian politician pointed out that every year representatives of retrograde forces and veterans associations come to Bleiburg (from Croatia) – reminiscing their fascist Ustasha government and the NDH (Independent State of Croatia, a WW2-era Nazi-allied entity) – “all under the guise of allegedly remembering the victims of the war.”
Stockinger pointed out that it was “bad enough that in today’s Croatia the Ustasha tradition is becoming ever more popular,” but added that “it will certainly not be transferred to Austria.”
“It is an open attack on all Serbs in the diaspora, on Serbia, on all democratic and anti-fascist people in the community from the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and especially on all Austrians and the sovereign democratic republic,” he said.
Stockinger recalled that under the NDH checkerboard flag, with the support of Hitler, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma and Jews were killed in the concentration camp Jasenovac, while thousands were forcibly converted to Catholicism. He also called for protests next year.
“The initiative of MP Kuharovic, with a request to the interior minister, is important in order to clarify the legal situation regarding the law prohibiting (Third Reich) symbols. It will be interesting how other parties declare themselves. In addition, it would be necessary to undertake a strong sign of protest in Bleiburg next year,” he said.
SPO MP Kuharovic previously sent a letter to the country’s interior minister asking about the fascist symbols carried by those who had gathered for the Bleiburg commemoration – i.e., whether these fell under the law that bans the use of Third Reich symbols.