A Socialist view of Austrian politics
We set out below part of the address of our Comrade Albert Kurz, fraternal delegate of the Bund Demokratsher Socialister to the Easter Conference of the Socialist Party of Great Britain.
We in Austria haven’t a party with a long tradition as you have. And, Comrades, there is a great difference between the conditions you have here and we have. You in Britain have a long democratic parliamentary tradition. Though it is a bourgeois tradition, it is by means of this tradition easiest to spread the great idea of Socialism.
We in Austria, on the contrary haven’t that tradition. We have had one fascist government after another. People who were so-called reds, that means social democrats, were jailed in the year 1937. So they had to turn “blacks”, that meant conservatives in order to earn their living. These were the years of the great depression. After the German invasion of Austria in 1938 both the reds and the blacks were jailed by the Nazis. They had to join the Nazi party to avoid persecution. After the year 1945 they were expelled from any public employment for having been Nazis. I don’t want even to mention the time of the 19th century in which police spies put their noses in all affairs of public life.
So it is not a surprise that people in Austria haven’t faith in parliamentarians and democracy to the extent that a bourgeois government can be called democratic. So at least officially nobody is being persecuted for being a Socialist. Although many people arc afraid.
You see, these are the great barriers we have in our work.
People grew afraid of being mixed up with politics, for as I told you, they burned too often their hands.
In these conditions we have, we must do our best. We haven’t a paper for such a long time as you. For many years we had a duplicated paper which was published monthly. The last years we have a printed paper, but we can afford to publish it only four times a year.