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German held at elite ball protest 'had explosives'

The Local · 28 Jan 2012, 16:04

Published: 28 Jan 2012 16:04 GMT+01:00

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Around 2,500 people demonstrated against the Burschenschaft Ball, often dubbed, “an international gathering of right-wing extremists,” in central Vienna on Friday.

They managed to delay the beginning of the ball slightly, but were kept away from the opulent Hofburg Palace by police.

Of the 20 people arrested at the demonstration, “One was German, who was found to be carrying explosives,” said a Vienna police spokesman although no further details were released.

The cream of European far-right politics attended the ball, including Marine Le Pen, head of the French National Front party, and members of the Belgian Vlaams Belang and Schwedendemokrat parties, Austrian paper Der Standard reported.

Members of Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) have attended in the past. This year it was held on the same date as with International Holocaust Remembrance day.

Franz Obermayr of Austria’s right wing Freedom Party called the ball “a symbol of the love we have for our Fatherland,” earning huge applause from the guests.

The Burschenschaften are male student fraternities which can be found in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and even as far flung as Chile. They are often criticised as right-wing, reactionary and nationalist.

Members follow strict social codes and at black-tie events such as the Burschenschaft Ball they wear full uniform. Tradition dictates that all members must fence, and because protective clothing is not allowed, many have striking facial scars which are displayed with pride.

Story continues below…

The protest against the Vienna ball included bus-loads of demonstrators from Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Frankfurt.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:57 January 28, 2012 by brnskin2010
I guess hate is as hate does...these ppl are flaunting their riches from the murders and theft of riches from the jews that their fathers n fathers fathers committed.....proudly celebrating and displaying with pride.....this is the manifestation of that negative son that was cast down and out of heaven...here he is in all his glory n splendor....just like the scriptures says.....always want 2 be seen and recognized.....LOOK @ ME......sad but true... b/c GOD made him so and gave the earth to be his throne and dominion.....copycat...
17:54 January 28, 2012 by boopsie
Its just a dance.The buffoons who tried to dynamite it need a couple of years in jail to think about it. This episode goes a long way towards proving that the far left and right are cut from the same cloth.
19:07 January 28, 2012 by Englishted
I thought Neanderthals had died out but it seem they still meet up in Austria.
21:04 January 28, 2012 by ECSNatale
By reporting about them, you give them the attention, and thus the spotlight, that they crave. Instead of sensationalizing their silly ball, scrutinize their actions and business dealings and put a spotlight on their cockroach activities. Usually light sends them scurrying into the holes they came from.
00:05 January 29, 2012 by HelloOutThere
It's actually quite amazing that when talking about racism, anti-semitism, facism and national socialism the entire world always refers to Germany, but seems to fully blend out Austria. I think it's true that the Austrains where able to make the world believe that Hitler was originally German and Mozart was definitely Austrian. You just need to have a look at the political life in Austria - by comparing the popularity of the NPD in Germany to the popularity of the Austrian pendant FPí in Austria you will realize that righ-wing parties in Austria have a much bigger chance to become part of the parliament(s).
11:10 January 29, 2012 by abu gerhard
My my...all the Liberals are coming out of the woodwork to protest the Burschenschaft.
14:43 January 29, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
Make no mistake, Burschenschaften don't always have a lot to do with American-style college fraternities... although in some respects, they actually do very much. As somebody who attended college in Germany, I got to meet quite a few Burschenschaft members and gain insight into that more or less secret world.

German Burschenschaften have a deserved reputation for (more often than not) being rightist, reactionary, exclusionary, sometimes openly racist and fascist, and vastly elitist organizations.

If you want to get on the career fast track, by all means, join a Burschenschaft. Their networks and their "Alte Herren" who occupy top positions both in government and the corporate world will throw more job opportunities at you than you can poke your saber at. But in order to do so, be prepared to sell part of your soul and turn a blind eye to the ugly underbelly of the secret Burschenschaften world.
16:18 January 29, 2012 by hanskarl
One wonders if the American KKK dolt David duke was in attendance. This would be right up is alley and he lives in Austria.
14:24 January 30, 2012 by LecteurX
What party is that "Schwedendemokrat party"??? Are they so "demokrat" that the official name of the party is in German, to be used even in English-language publications? Come on, The Local, you can do better than this...

On the other hand, hats off for disclosing that Marine Le Pen was attending this "hateball". She's been so keen to polish her image as mainstream and she has been painstakingly distancing herself from all those extreme rightwing tendencies... now she'll have to do a lot of damage limitation.
18:25 January 30, 2012 by Englishted
Where are all the right wing commentators on this one then?

heyheyhey etc can you come out of the box?
11:59 January 31, 2012 by jg.
@boopsie "This episode goes a long way towards proving that the far left and right are cut from the same cloth."

Well said.
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