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Marine Le Pen guest of honour at the “Vampires’ Ball” in Vienna

Translated Tuesday 31 January 2012, by Harry Cross and reviewed by Henry Crapo

On Friday the 27th of January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the candidate of the French National Front at the presidential election, in response to an invitation from the FPÖ, the Austrian far-right party, attended the most controversial ball in the world, where each year Holocaust deniers receive standing ovations.

“Marine Le Pen was guest of honour of Martin Graf, third president of the Austrian Parliament, at the Olympia ball,” wrote SOS Racism in a communiqué, a “ball stained with nostalgia for the Third Reich” organised Friday at Vienna by far-right student organisations and denounced by the anti-racist organisation. SOS Racism protested that “Marine Le Pen, once again scandalously disregards the republican values which she does not cease to claim as her own.” For its part, the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF) “is concerned by the silence of civil society and the political class” with regard to Marine Le Pen’s attendance of this ball. “How far must Marine Le Pen go before civil society and the political order mobilise against her?” asked UEJF.

Marine Le Pen, candidate of the National Front for the presidential election, was in Vienna following the invitation of the leader of the far-right party FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, under the banner of the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF) which unites far-right populist factions of Europe. In the Austrian Parliament, Marine Le Pen encountered that afternoon the third president of the National Assembly, Martin Graf (FPÖ), and then, after a dinner with Heinz-Christian Strache, continued to the ball which took place in the Hofburg, Imperial Winter Palace of the Habsburgs.

According to SOS Racism, “Martin Graf, member of the FPÖ is one of the most hard-line and violent partisans of the European far right.” “The Olympia group, of which he is one of the principal theoreticians, is a secret society which excludes Jews and women and whose members have for a mission the advancement of neo-Nazi ideologies,” added the communiqué.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 protestors were assembled Friday in front of the gates of the Imperial Palace in order to denounce this ball.

Click here for video: Protest against the far-right ball in Vienna.

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