75 Years After the Anschluss, 54% of Austrians Think Nazis Would Get Support Today

Though more than half of respondents stated that support for the Nazi party today was 'highly possible,' 57 percent opined that 'Nothing was good under Hitler.'

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

Fifty-four percent of Austrians think the Nazi Party would receive support in modern-day Austria, according to a survey published on Saturday by the Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

The poll, commissioned by Der Standard, was published ahead of Wednesday’s 75th anniversary of the Third Reich’s annexation of Austria, known as the Anschluss.

Though more than half of respondents stated that support for the Nazi party today was “highly possible,” 57 percent opined that “Nothing was good under Hitler.”

The poll surveyed 502 Austrian voters. Most of those who hypothesized support for the Nazis were classified as “young and educated.”

Sixty-one percent most of them older respondents said they wanted a “strong leader” at Austria’s helm. Fifty-seven percent reported that they identify with statements such as “The state should give money only to its people.”

Asked whether Austria was “the first victim of Hitler’s Germany” in 1938 or whether it joined the Third Reich of its own free will, 53 percent responded that their country had willfully joined, while 46 percent said they believed Austria was a victim.

As for whether Austria could have militarily blocked the Anschluss, 15 percent replied that “such as war would have been a wise move,” 42 percent said it would have been detrimental to Austria, and 43 percent said it would have not changed the situation.

Only 12 percent rejected the possibility that the acts carried out against Jews following the Anschluss were imaginable in today’s Europe, while 39 percent said such acts were a possibility and 17 percent said they were “very possible.”

Fifty-seven percent reported that the Nazis’ victims and their descendants were sufficiently compensated for their suffering in the Holocaust, while 42 percent think the compensation was insufficient.

Adolf Hitler in 1943.Credit: AP
Head of the Austrian right-wing Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache lifts a glass of beer during his traditional Ash Wednesday speech in Ried, Austria, on Feb. 22, 2012.Credit: AP