Thursday, November 13, 2008
Austrian Transit Worker Fired for Saying Seig Heil!
It's been some time since I've looked at some the stories the media covers outside the United States so I thought I'd share this one from Austria.
Back on October 26, 2008 Yahoo! News reported about a 35 year-old streetcar driver from Austria who was fired for using the term "Seig Heil!". Apparently the Third Reich aficionado was finishing his streetcar's last run on a historic section of downtown Vienna, he shared this news on the intercom with his passengers then completed his statement with a hearty "Seig Heil!"
I've been to Berlin, Germany twice and it's well known that even a mention of Nazis, Hitler or the Nazi party will earn you stern looks of disaproval from native German's within earshot. After some afternoon beers at a cafe a friend of mine was just talking about WWII and mentioned Nazi tanks and at least four people sitting near us turned around and glared at him. No lie.
Sharing any kind of pro "Nazi talk" or wearing a swastica will get you arrested FAST.
The story was first reported by a Jewish newspaper and later picked up by other media sources.
Recently many Austrian officials were concerned that thousands of neo-Nazi's would descend on the country for the funeral of 58 year-old right-wing extremist Jorg Haider who was killed in a car accident in October.
Haider was something of a lightning rod for the global neo-Nazi movement having frequently and openly expressed pride and admiration for Nazi Germany and their anti-Semitic policies. Haider's parents were both members of the Nazi party, offering a sad testament to the power of hate and fear to corrupt minds when it is reinforced and celebrated in the home.
I suppose the family that goose-steps together stays together.
Regardless the world will be a better place without this politician who celebrated one of the world's most heinous regimes that brought about the death of millions of innocent people.
Being fired for saying two words may seem harsh, but it's a testament to the legacy of hate unleashed upon the world by Hitler and the architects of the Third Reich.