Controversy in Austria over criticism of Nazi camp inmates

VIENNA (AP) — The senior party in Austria’s government coalition is suggesting that an official in its partner party be removed for indirectly backing an article describing some Nazi concentration camp inmates as a “scourge.”

Social Democrat Hannes Jarolim was reacting Tuesday to a ruling by Gottfried Strasser of the Justice Ministry on a story published by the right-wing Aula magazine. The article describes some inmates of the Nazi’s Mauthausen camp as “criminals” and a “scourge” upon the region after they were liberated.

Strasser said Monday there was no reason to appeal a decision to end an investigation into the article, since it did not contravene Austria’s anti-Nazi laws.

Jarolim says Strasser’s reaction raises the question of whether he is the “right person” to rule on such issues.