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“Day‑X”

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COMMENT: A recent New York Times [5]arti­cle about the Free­dom Par­ty’s ascent to becom­ing a coali­tion part­ner in the Aus­tri­an gov­ern­ment not­ed the “fas­cist file seizure” that fol­lowed Aus­tri­a’s domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice’s refusal to turn over a list of infil­tra­tors into far right orga­ni­za­tions in Aus­tria (part of the Third Reich dur­ing World War II.) We cov­ered this top­ic in FTR #1016 [6].

The for­mer head of that domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice likened the raid to “Day‑X,” the time fore­seen and her­ald­ed by Nazis as the occa­sion of their seizure of pow­er.

At right is a pic­ture of SS gen­er­al Anton Reinthaler, the founder of the Free­dom Par­ty, begun as a vehi­cle for re-intro­duc­ing Third Reich vet­er­ans into the Aus­tri­an polit­i­cal process.

This picture–worth at least 1,000 words–would indi­cate that “Day‑X” arrived some time ago.

[7]

S.S. Gen­er­al Anton Reinthaller, founder of the Aus­tri­an Free­dom Party–now part of that coun­try’s coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“As Far Right Ris­es, a Bat­tle over Secu­ri­ty Agen­cies Grows” by Katrin Bennhold; The New York Times; 5/7/2019. [5]

As well as any­one, Sybille Geissler knows the threats from Austria’s far-right extrem­ists, who in recent weeks have likened migrants to rats and blithe­ly defend­ed cam­paign mate­r­i­al that evokes Nazi pro­pa­gan­da.

For over 12 years, she has led the anti-extrem­ism unit of the domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, and recent­ly tes­ti­fied in a par­lia­men­tary inquiry into whether the far right was try­ing to under­mine her agency.

Her biggest chal­lenge these days, her tes­ti­mo­ny sug­gests, is that the far right is part of her own gov­ern­ment.

Short­ly after the far-right Free­dom Par­ty joined the gov­ern­ment 17 months ago, tak­ing over the pow­er­ful Inte­ri­or Min­istry, the ministry’s top offi­cial asked Ms. Geissler and her boss to turn over the names of infor­mants who had infil­trat­ed the far-right scene.

They refused. Just weeks lat­er, armed police burst into her office and cart­ed away years’ worth of domes­tic files as well as intel­li­gence from allied nations. . . .

. . . . In far-right cir­cles, the vaunt­ed day neo-Nazis take pow­er in a putsch is her­ald­ed as “Day X.” For some, like Ms. Geissler, that day is less fan­tas­ti­cal than it may seem.

“I have to hon­est­ly say, since I have been work­ing in the far-right extrem­ism area for a very long time and have a lot of infor­ma­tion, my first thought was: This is it, it’s Day X,” she recalled in a par­lia­men­tary hear­ing last year, describ­ing the raid. . . .