Open letter of ‘Active Unemployed Austria’ to the world-wide community - Please support our online petition and make own complaints!
Dear Sir / Madam,
Dear people in the community,
we turn to you in a matter which becomes increasingly urgent and call for your support!
Despite numerous protests of the civilian society and the victim associations like the Mauthausen committee1, the black-blue town government of Graz wants to concrete over the mute witnesses of the past at all costs. Instead of exploring systematically the grounds of the camp and of making the atrocities of the NS era in Graz finally clear as a coherent whole, the Graz holding has already begun to fill up the selective excavations. Residential building town councillor of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ)2 Mario Eustaccio even wants to build “social buildings” on the area contaminated by Nazi atrocities and to cover the dark past of the Nazi stronghold Graz in this way.
Historians suspect that there are still victims buried in the bomb craters. The NS camp Liebenau namely was an intermediate stop for thousands of Jews from Hungary in the last days of the war on the death march to the concentration camp Mauthausen.
The NS forced labour in Graz is not only played down by the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) but also by the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) which pretends to be Christian3. The Catholic Church in Graz with bishop Wilhelm Krautwaschl in charge and many other established institutions and dignitaries remain silent again. The old anti-culture of keeping silent is indefatigably continued in the “town of national uprising”.
Committed people are hindered or even made ridiculous44: Dr. Rainer Possert’s warnings were still in August described as “hitherto untenable, completely unfounded speculations of a doctor”. Apparently as a punishment residential building town councillor of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) Mario Eustaccio has cut back the subsidy for the Sociomedical Centre East as a single organization of which Possert is in charge.5 The subsidy is used for town centres.
There is an increasing atmosphere of fear in Graz: politicians of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) try to denounce every sound resistance against their projects as criminal and delegitimize civil disobedience generally as “violence”. Popular media like the ‘Kronenzeitung’, ‘Kleine Zeitung’ (which belongs to a foundation of the catholic church!) and ‘Grazer Woche’ publish inflammatory articles time and time again. Less and less people dare to give their critical opinion in public. What stands out in our online petition is that people outside Graz mostly have their names published, people in Graz however, want to remain anonymous for fear!
It is implausible that money is missing for the reappraisal of the past which is long overdue, when on the other hand at least 160 million are fed into an unprofitable water power station6 (which precisely in winter – when electricity is needed most urgently – would only produce approximately 4 MW of electrical power) including the central storage channel. Beside the NS camp the green lung in the midst of the fine dust stronghold Graz shall be sustainably destroyed and the population of legally protected animal species shall be exterminated.
Therefore ‘Aktive Arbeitslose Austria’ have started an online petition against this non-culture of active forgetting in the “town of human rights Graz” as well as UNESCO world cultural heritage. We demand an immediate stop of the building project and the clearings, so that the dark chapter of the NS dictatorship with more than two dozens of forced labour camps is finally reappraised. Neither Austria nor Europe need new power stations urgently.7 Alternatives like solar energy and energy saving (replace electrical heating devices!) don’t destroy and split the town of Graz that much like power station and channel do. In the first place only the concrete and construction lobby profit and should very well pave the way for “modern residential building”.
The Porr AG, which was “Aryanized” by the Nazis8 because 42.7% of the shares were sold to duke Ernst August by Jewish owners on account of the difficult situation at that time, belongs in any case to the main profiteers.
Among the main profiteers of the rapid disappearance of the Nazi forced labor camp is PORR AG, the second largest construction group in Austria. PORR has been aryanized in the national socialist tradition: The Jewish owners, who held 42.7% of the shares, where pushed to "emergency sales" far below Value constrained. Porr AG was profiting massively from the war, by increasing its staff by a factor of six and by employing up to 11,000 forced laborers. Also in the dreaded concentration camp Gusen II, where the labor slaves had to dig pits for the armaments industry in the mountain under the circumstances of extreme human despair.9
Probably to keep the investment fund of the Australian investment bank Maquarie, which describes itself willingly as a green investor – in a good mood, subsidy merry-go-rounds which probably contravene European Union law are constructed – as the elected representative of the National Assembly Werner Kogler shows.
The hurry and the brutal force with which the NS camp and its victims of the Nazi violence should now be built over, is in any case very suspicious and unique in Austria.
We therefore ask you urgently to support and share our petition as well as to write letters to the people who are politically responsible!
Please, send us copies of the letters of protest and inform us of possible further protest campaigns on the spot. In Austria much is still swept under the dusty carpet.
Mag. Ing. Martin Mair
Chairman ‘’Active Unemployed Austria"
Treasurer and organising referent ‘’Active Unemployed Austria"
Active Unemployed Austria (Aktive Arbeitslose Österreich) are Austrias largest independent unemployed union, we have a strong focus on human rights issues, participated successfully on a NGO hearing on social human rights at United Nations in Geneva in november 2013 and we partizipate at the NGO Forum of the European Fundamental Rights Agency. [Old english page just transfering now to our new website]
- Online petition in English: https://bit.ly/nscampliebneau
- Online peitition in French; https://bit.ly/nazicampliebenau
- Online petition in German: https://bit.ly/nslagerliebenau
- Online petition in Slovenian: http://bit.ly/nacisticnikampliebenau
- Online petition in Spanish coming soon
- Graz concretes our the NS forced Labour Camp Liebenau and destroys Witnesses of the NS Past! (Active Unemployed Austria, 6th September 2017)
- The Aryanization of Porr AG and its Profitable Participation in National Socialism - First Investigation Results (Active Unemployed Austria)
- Report of Townhall of City of Graz about the building of subsidized housing on the area of the NS camp Graz-Liebenau to the local council in Graz (PDF-Document in German)
- Social Medicine Center Graz Liebenau (SMZ): Gedenkkultur (Memorial Culture, German only)
- Social Medicine Center Graz Liebenau (SMZ): SMZ-Info Special Issue "Memorial" (German only)
- murXkraftwerk.at newslinks index of topics "NS Force Labour Camp Graz Liebenau" (at the moment German only)
- The Former Forced Labour Camp in Graz Liebenau - On Dealing with a Long-Suppressed Chapter in Contemporary History (Mauthausen Meomial, 14th September 2017)
- Austrian city faces hidden horrors of Nazi camp (BBC 29 April 2015)
- Eleonore Lappin: The Death Marches of Hungarian Jews Through Austria in the Spring of 1945
2 On the increasingly perceptible racist and right-wing manifestations of the rightist and authoritarian tendencies of FPÖ politicians, which are growing stronger as a result of an emerging black-blue coalition in parliament see http://www.mkoe.at/en/neun-neue-fpo-einzelfalle-in-nur-acht-wochen
Attachment: Addressees for Yor protest letters
Town of Graz
Mayor of Graz
Mag. Siegfried Nagl (ÖVP – Austrian People’s Party)
Town hall, 2nd floor, room 201
Phone: +43 316 872-2000
Fax: +43 316 872-2019
State Government of Styria
Head of the government of the province of Styria
Hermann Schützenhöfer (ÖVP – Austrian People’s Party)
Phone: +43 316 877-8700
Fax: +43 316 877-8714
Conseiller for Department: Finance, Transport, Environment, Renewable Energy, Sport, Animal Protection
Anton Lang (SPÖ)
A-8010 Graz, Landhaus
Phone: +43 316 877-4458
Fax: +43 316 877-2803
E-Mail: anton.langstmk.gv.at ( )
Energie Steiermark AG (Energy Styria Corp.)
DI Christian Purrer (ÖVP – Austrian People’s Party)
Phone: +43 316 9000-5910
Fax: +43 316 9000-22909
DI (FH) Mag. (FH) Martin Graf, MBA (SPÖ – Austrian Socialist Party)
Phone: +43 316 9000-5930
Fax: +43 316 9000-22909
Supervisory board of the EStAG: https://www.e-steiermark.com/konzern/unternehmen/Aufsichtsrat.aspx
Macquarie Group Limited
Chairman Peter H. Wayne
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Moore
50 Martin Place
Sydney, New South Wales
Further boards, see company reports
Macquarie prides himself on acting especially responsibly!
Macquarie European Infrastructure Funds
28 Ropemaker Street
London EC2Y 9HD
Executive Team: https://www.macquarie.com/mgl/com/gif/about-us/executive-team
Chief Executive Officer Grant.Smithmacquarie.com
(Responsible for the protection of memorials at the UNO)
7 place Fontenoy
75007 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 4568 1000