Far-right Austrian deputy mayor of Hitler′s hometown resigns over ′racist′ poem | News | DW | 23.04.2019

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Far-right Austrian deputy mayor of Hitler's hometown resigns over 'racist' poem

A member of Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) wrote a poem for a party newspaper that compared migrants to rats to warn against "mixing" cultures. The text drew an angry response from Austria's chancellor.

The far-right deputy mayor of Adolf Hitler's birth town will step down after writing a poem that compared migrants to rats, Austria's vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said Tuesday.

Strache, who also heads the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), said Christian Schilcher (pictured) will leave the party and resign as deputy mayor of Braunau am Inn.

"He literally stuck his hand in the political trash can," Strache said, adding that the poem was irreconcilable with the FPÖ's principles.

Schilcher's resignation came a day after Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose conservative People's Party (ÖVP) governs in a coalition with the FPÖ, demanded that the far-right party distance itself from the "abhorrent, inhuman and deeply racist" text.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (L) demanded that his vice chancellor's (R) party distance itself from the poem

The poem, titled "The Town Rat," was published in a local FPÖ newspaper and includes the text: "just as we live down here, other rats who (came) as guests or migrants, including the ones we didn't know, must share our way of life. Or get out of here fast!"

After Strache's announcement, Kurz praised the FPÖ. "The resignation of the deputy mayor of Braunau was the only logical outcome," he said.

Schilcher said he "wanted to provoke" people with the text. "I did not want to insult or hurt anyone at all," he added.

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn near the German border in 1889.

amp/jm (AP, dpa, AFP)

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