Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Wednesday, 2 February, 2000, 12:41 GMT
Joerg Haider: Key quotes

haider Joerg Haider: Statements criticised

August 1988

"You know as well as I do that the Austrian nation was a miscarriage, an ideological miscarriage."
In a television interview.

October 1990

"Our soldiers were not criminals, at most they were victims."
In an address to an annual meeting of World War II veterans at Ulrichsberg, known to attract former SS officers.

June 1991

"... in the Third Reich they had an "orderly" employment policy ..."

After the uproar in the Carinthian provincial parliament that followed, he added: "I unequivocally made the point that this remark was not made with the meaning understood by you. If it reassures you then I take back the remark with regret."

However, he was forced to step down as provincial governor of Carinthia as a result of the remark.

haider Mr Haider has provoked criticism both at home and abroad
February 1995

During a parliamentary debate, Mr Haider referred to "the punishment camps of National Socialism" - implying that concentration camp inmates had been guilty of crimes.

Later that day, he said he had meant to say "concentration camps".

September 1995

"... there are still decent people of good character who also stick to their convictions, despite the greatest opposition and have remained true to their convictions until today."
In an address to World War II veterans including former members of Adolf Hitler's murderous Waffen SS.

December 1995

"The Waffen SS was a part of the Wehrmacht (German military) and hence it deserves all the honour and respect of the army in public life."
In a television interview.

November 1999

A month after a general election in which the Freedom Party surged into second place, Mr Haider apologised for his past comments in a speech in Vienna.

"In the past, some remarks have been attributed to me in connection with Nazism which were certainly insensitive or open to misunderstanding.

"I am personally sorry for this, firstly because I believe I hurt the feelings of people who were themselves victims of Nazism or whose relatives were, and secondly because the statements were not in line with the personal values of tolerance and humanity which are the basis of my political work."

Haider Mr Haider has taken a hardline stance on controversial issues

Mr Haider said he understood that some Austrian Jews felt anxiety about his election success but assured them they had nothing to fear.

"The very uniqueness and incomparability of the crime of the Holocaust means Austrian politicians must take such fears seriously.

"Where we in the Freedom Party have responsibility, no one needs to pack their suitcases and no one has to leave their home.

"Where we in the Freedom Party have responsibility, freedom and democracy are in good hands."

Mr Haider said his generation had the good fortune not to bear responsibility for the Nazi period.

"But we must observe the burden of remembrance which must characterise our political behaviour.

"This must spur us to do everything to prevent, once and for all, any repetition of the crime of organised mass extermination of people and of ethnic cleansing and expulsion as a means of policy."

February 2000

"There is a lot of excitement in the European chicken pen - even though the fox hasn't even got in."
Interview published by German weekly Die Zeit.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

News and background

Haider in power
A danger to Europe?
Europe Contents

Country profiles

See also:
01 Feb 00 |  Europe
US joins threats to isolate Austria
31 Jan 00 |  Europe
Analysis: What the action would mean
03 Oct 99 |  Europe
Profile: Joerg Haider
31 Jan 00 |  Europe
Haider's Austrian charm offensive
29 Jan 00 |  Media reports
Europe's media bristle over Haider
27 Dec 99 |  World
Old memories and new fears in Europe
28 Jan 00 |  Europe
Call for calm over Austrian far-right
28 Jan 00 |  Europe
Austrian far-right prompts EU fears
27 Jan 00 |  Europe
Move to thwart far-right leader
27 Jan 00 |  Europe
Conservatives defend Haider talks
26 Jan 00 |  Europe
Haider's rise 'highly disturbing'
27 Jan 00 |  Europe
World alert for rise of far right

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories