Haider, Jelinek, and the Austrian culture wars

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J. Rosellini, May 7, 2009 - History - 218 pages
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Austria, a small country that was once part of a great empire, rarely makes an appearance in the US media. In the past few decades, only Kurt Waldheim (1918-2007), the former Secretary General of the UN accused of war crimes, Jörg Haider (1950-2008), the populist politician associated with the rise of the far right, and Elfriede Jelinek (1946-), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004, have been deemed worthy of more than fleeting attention. The Haider-Jelinek confrontation was one of the significant manifestations of the search for national identity in postwar Austria. The culture wars that have raged in the country since the 1980s revolve around a fundamental question: Should the country's role in the Third Reich be dismissed as an anomaly, or was it an expression of innate characteristics that still lie beneath the surface of the seemingly idyllic Alpine Republic?

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