Christian Schilcher: Deputy mayor resigns over poem

4 weeks ago
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A deputy mayor in Austria has resigned after facing criticism for a poem he wrote that compared humans to rodents.

In the poem, Christian Schilcher, from the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) tells migrants to integrate or “get out of here fast.”

He is mayor of Braunau am Inn, birthplace of Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, “the resignation of the deputy mayor of Braunau was the only logical outcome.”

Mr Kurz’s People’s Party governs in a coalition with the FPÖ.

He previously told the Austrian Press Agency that the poem was “disgusting, inhuman and deeply racist” and had no place in Austria.

The poem said that if you mix different cultures, “it’s as if you destroy them.”

Mr Schilcher said he did not mean to “insult or hurt anyone” with his poem.

He apologised for ignoring the “historically burdened” comparison between rats and humans, saying the poem aimed to describe changes “which myself and others quite rightly criticise” from a rat’s perspective.

Pamela Rendi-Wagner, head of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), said such comparisons were “customary in Nazi propaganda”.

But Vice-Chancellor and FPÖ head Heinz-Christian Strache complained in a Facebook post of “incitement” against his party.

It showed competitors were “especially nervous” ahead of European Parliament elections in May.

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BBC News – Europe

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