Vienna's secret society.
Writer Billy Briggs and I were in Austria following an election that saw extreme far right political parties take one third of the nation¹s vote. The far right was on the rise in Austria and secretive academic fraternities called Burschenschaften were said to be the link between banned Nazi groups and mainstream political parties. Members of Vienna's 18 Burschenschaften groups gathered at a private and formal meeting in the Grinzinger Keller under Vienna City Hall. They wear different coloured hats to denote their loyalties to each fraternity and only males with a German heritage can join. Mensur is a traditional part of the initiation and students dual to cut each other's faces and heads. They practice on a dummy called a phantom. There are Burschenschaften groups all over Austria, Germany and South America. Herbert Schweiger knows them well. Described as the ³puppet master² of the far right, Schweiger is a legendary figure for neo-Nazis across the world. We were given a rare interview with him.
Austria's Far Right