Forty two percent of Austrians think "not everything was bad under Hitler,"
while 57% think "there was nothing positive about the Hitler era,"
according to a poll conducted by newspaper Der Standard that was published on Friday.
poll was conducted among 502 eligible voters in Austria and published
ahead of the 75th anniversary of the country's annexation by Nazi
61% thought the country adequately dealt with its Nazi past, while 39% thought more should be done.
Germany annexed Austria in 1938, and a debate still smoulders on
whether Austrians were Hitler's first victims or willing accomplices.
Austria's Jewish population was nearly wiped out in the ensuing
54% answered that neo-Nazi groups would be successful in the Austrian elections, if there was no law banning them.
In January, an Austrian court sentenced a leading neo-Nazi figure to nine years in jail
for his role in launching an extreme-right website that glorified Nazism.
Kuessel, 54, had denied any wrongdoing and told the court he had turned
over a new leaf since serving a previous jail term for neo-Nazi
activity, which is banned in Austria.
But heeding prosecutors'
description of Kuessel as a prime leader of the extreme right, the jury
voted 5-3 late on Thursday to convict him. Two other defendants got
sentences of seven and four-and-a-half years.
Jewish leaders have warned of late against what they called creeping tolerance of anti-Semitism in Austria.
rabbi said in September that neo-Nazi soccer fans had verbally abused
him while police looked on, and a far-right politician drew criticism
from the country's president for posting a cartoon on his website that
was widely seen as anti-Semitic.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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