The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Antisemitism in an organization affiliated with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP)

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Activists of the Austrain students’ organization AktionsGemeinscaft (AG), which is affiliated with the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna (Wien) and is closely and politically associated with the Austrian People’s Party, spent their time spreading jokes about Jews and mocking the disabled in a closed Facebook group. In the latest edition of the Austrian news weekly “Falter”, excerpts from chat conversations were published.


The members of the Facebook group include staff members of the faculty, as well as candidates standing for the current elections of the Austrian Students’ Union (ÖH). Students’. The representatives regularly chatted with each other in both a Whatsapp group and the aforementioned closed Facebook group which is called “Fakultätsvertretung Jus Männerkollektiv”. In their chats, for example, shortly after the caption “leaked nude pictures of Anne Frank”, an illustration appears of a single rose emerging from a pile of ashes. Elsewhere in the chats, there is an illustration of a girl who is a member of the Hitler youth (Hitlerjugend) movement. She is holding a basket filled with swastika flags and rabbits in her hands along with the caption: “Wishing a happy Easter to all the men as well as all the chicks in this respectable group.”


In addition, one may find in the comments a picture of a child with Down’s Syndrome sitting in a tub with a pitchfork drawn on his arm as well as the inscription “Poseidown” and various illustrations of Hitler. First and foremost, on visiting the group, one is struck by the many revealing photos of female students or of raves in which the assembled party appears to be largely drunk or intoxicated.


Within the AG itself, those revelations were met with indignation: “It is absolutely outrageous that members of this organization have created a Facebook group in which posts containing such inhuman content are shared” said organization’s spokesman Valentin Petritsch. “This is in no way compatible with the values ​​championed by AG and therefore we call upon the immediate resignation of all those who took part in these actions.” Among the young members of the ÖVP, some of whom also participated in the aforementioned groups, there were those who condemned the actions but also, at the same time, chose to point an accusing finger at AG.