The Politics Of Antisemitic Prejudice: The Waldheim Phenomenon In Austria by Richard Mitten
This book sets out to discover the truth behind the Waldheim controversy in its historical and political context. Whereas other books have focused on Waldheim's personal biography, the author argues that the essential point in the affair is not Waldheim himself, but the political and cultural climate that made his election possible. Mitten examines Waldheim's 1986 presidential election campaign, which both elicited and profited from profound chauvinistic and antisemitic resentments, and demonstrates how mistaken perceptions led both supporters and critics of Waldheim to press almost diametrically opposite convictions, using an almost identical moral vocabulary. Mitten also re-examines the debate over Waldheim's criminality and suggests that the former UN Secretary General has come to stand as the symbol of a more general post-war unwillingness to confront the implications of the Nazi abomination. The author worked on the controversial television programme "Kurt Waldheim: A Commission of Inquiry".