A Nazi-praising songbook has put Austrian far-right party member Udo Landbauer under fire who is also the deputy co-chair of the fraternity that published the book.
The initial report from Austrian weekly magazine Falter revealed the songbook was published by the fraternity Germania zu Wiender Neustadt and contained several songs that celebrate Nazi activities including the Nazi attack on Crete in 1941.
The lyrics read, “on Crete the flags are blowing, we paratroopers have won, and many have fallen, but the fame of the paratroopers has remained.”
“In their midst comes the Jew Ben-Gurion: ‘Step on the gas, you ancient Germanic peoples, we’ll manage the seventh million.”
The battle of Crete began on the morning of 20 May 1941 when Nazi Germany commenced their airborne invasion of Crete. There were 4,123 casualties and 17,479 captures.
It was reported that a spokesman for Landbauer confirmed to Falter that the FPO politician has been a member of the fraternity for the past 18 years but claims that he only used the songbook “only with torn-out pages and blacked out passages” and had only learned of the anti-Semitic texts this week.
Mr Landbauer, the top candidate of the FPO for the state election in Lower Austria, said in a statement that he was “shocked” by the texts of the songs and said he froze his membership with the fraternity.
“When this book was printed I was 11 years old,” he said in the statement.
“Neither I nor the FPO have anything to do with anti-semitism, xenophobia or totalitarianism.”
Detusche Welle (DW) reports that the FPO was formed by former Nazis in the 1950s, but the party has sought to distance itself from anti-Semitism. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has defended his governing coalition with the FPO, saying that the party should be judged on its current actions, not its past actions, DW reported.
Mr Kurz condemned the songbook tweeting that the lyrics were “racist, anti-Semitic and absolutely repugnant.”
“There cannot be a place for that in our country,” his tweet read after translation.
Die publik gewordenen Liedtexte der Germania sind rassistisch, antisemitisch und absolut widerwärtig. Dafür darf es in unserem Land keinen Platz geben. Es braucht daher volle Aufklärung und die Verantwortlichen müssen zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) January 23, 2018
The song book was condemned by Bernhard Ebner, the head of the center-right People’s Party (OeVP) in Lower Austria, who was reported saying the allegations were “unbelievably serious” and needed to be “completely cleared up.”