Austria: Journalist fired after tweet about Wannsee Conference

On the website of the ÖVP-affiliated online medium Exxpress everything looks business as usual on Wednesday morning. A press conference by FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl is running in the live stream. The main feature of the website is the toilet ban for four schoolchildren in St. Valentin; a half-baked plagiarism story about the Austrian Minister of Justice is warmed up; and Florian Klenk from the weekly newspaper Falter, one of editor-in-chief Richard Schmitt’s favorite enemies, is once again under attack. Behind the misleading headline “Illegal gambling: the city of Vienna votes to stop advertising in the Falter ab” but then only the banal news hides that two Viennese FPÖ municipal councilors want to submit a corresponding application to the city council because online casinos scandalously in the Falter allowed to advertise.

As so often, Richard Schmitt, in cooperation with the website “EU-Infothek” of the Novomatic lobbyist Gert Schmidt, continues his own story, which consists of insinuations and prejudice (“serious accusation”, “suspicion of money laundering”, “dirty online games “). The tabloid journalist Schmitt himself has been convicted of defamation and damage to credit; he is seen as someone who doesn’t take facts too seriously. When the journalist Helge Fahrnberger once wrote: “If Richard Schmitt writes something, the probability that it’s wrong is quite high,” he sued him. Fahrberger won. The court attested Schmidt’s “publication” a “tentative nature.

Real news, on the other hand, was the tweet that Schmitt himself posted on Tuesday. Because it was based on outrage at a defamatory statement. the Exxpressboss fired, quasi publicly, his deputy Anna Dobler. When a film about the Wannsee Conference was shown on ZDF and ORF on Monday, showing how high-ranking National Socialists were planning the Holocaust, Dobler tweeted: “They weren’t just murderers, they were socialists through and through.”

Dobler reacts – again on Twitter

the Exxpressboss and his publisher and majority owner Eva Schütz, who is married to the multi-millionaire and ÖVP donor Alexander Schütz, explained that the opinion expressed by Dobler in no way corresponds to that of the editors: “No, the National Socialists who planned and carried out the Holocaust were not ‘ Socialists”” We do not want “our editorial team, our entire team, to be burdened with even the slightest suspicion of a possible relativization of National Socialism”.

Dobler acknowledged her own dismissal, again on Twitter, with the explanation that she had deleted the tweet immediately because it was disputed whether the Nazis were “through and through” socialists. But there is enough evidence of socialist tendencies within National Socialism. And then she completely misappropriated, slightly modified, a quote from the legendary Social Democratic Chancellor Bruno Kreisky: “You learn history first.” Dobler believes that the debate about her statement was fueled by the left wing. In a Exxpresscolumn, the then deputy editor-in-chief described herself as “fair game” for leftists and feminists.

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