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Historical Background

"Abwehrkampf" and the German-nationalist associations in Carithian
German-Nationalism is an ideology, which developed in the 19th century in Austria (and Germany), advocating for the unification of the German States (under Prussian dominance). It was, and still is, strongly anti-Semitic (partially anti-Catholic) and particularly in a Carinthian context anti-Slav in character. Generally this ideology has a racial conception of what is German and what is not, similar to national socialism. Calling organizations German-nationalist today doesnít mean these groups actively seek Austriaís unification with Germany, rather it refers to the fact that these groups propagate racial conceptions of Germanness and seek to exclude everyone and everything who or which donít fit these conceptions.

The so called "Abwehrkampf" (literally resistance fight) is a german-nationalist term for the border conflict between the SHS state and the Austrian army and militias. It started at the end of World War I and was ended by a referendum ordered by the League of Nations in autumn 1919. 57 percent voted that southern Carinthia should remain with the new Austrian Republic, among them many Slovenians, who were promised far reaching minority rights - a promise that was never honored. The supposed "German victory" in the Abwehrkampf is a central discourse in the annual commemorations of these events on the 10th of October (the day of the referendum), even though militarily the SHS army would have succeeded. These events are rembered (not only by right-wing extremists) as a glorious period in Carinthian history. The German-Nationalist associations, Kärntner Heimatdienst (Carinthian Homeland Service) and Kärntner Abwehrkämpfer Bund (Association of Abwehr (Resistance)-fighters) are an important factor in cultivating the memory - or myth - of the Abwehrkampf and in connection with it, a german-nationalist and anti-Slovenian/anti-Slav discourse. These organizationa claim to be merely organizations dedicated to the cultivation of traditions, however according to the handbook on right wing extremism published by the Documentation Center of Austrian resistance, because of their connections and influence with all major Carinthian parties, as well as connections reaching beyond the Carinthian political landscape, they have to be seen as important front-organizations of right wing extremism.

Through the centrality of this discourse on heroic resistance against the "Slavs", and the anti-Slav propaganda that goes with it, as well as the influence these two German-Nationalist Organizations have in Carinthian politics, there exists a German-Nationalist consensus among all three major parties and the vast majority of the population.