Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Austrian parliamentary leader calls for review of history linked with Nazis


VIENNA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- President of the Austrian parliament Barbara Prammer said Sunday that Austria should review its history of assisting Nazis in the persecution of Jews.

During the evening's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of "Crystal Night" held here, she said when Nazis were persecuting Jews, "many Austrians not only supported but also actively participated in the persecution."

Ariel Muzicant, President of the Israelite Cultural Organization of Vienna, also called on Austrians to "keep their distance from the right-wing extremists" in his speech.

On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazis killed at least 90 Jews both in Germany and Austria on the excuse that a German diplomat had been murdered by a Jewish refugee, arrested another 30,000, ransacked thousands of Jewish shops and institutions, and scattered broken glass everywhere. This bloody night was later called the "Crystal Night".

Since then, Nazis began a large-scale and systematic persecution of Jews in Europe.

On Sunday evening in Vienna, people paraded with candles spontaneously, assembling at Judenplatz, a square at the city center, putting their candles around the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial, on which writes in German, English and Hebrew, "In commemoration of more than 65000 Austrian Jews, who were killed by the Nazis between 1938-1945."

The participators said that this tragedy should be memorized forever and must not happen again. They said commemorating the horrible history was aimed at "not forgetting" it.