Ruth Ellen Gruber
In response, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Catholic archbishop of Vienna, said that
According to the JTA article, members of Austria's 8,000-member Jewish community joined political, civic and social network groups in spearheading opposition to Rosenkranz’s presidential bid. A Jewish community statement called her candidacy an "embarrassment" for Austria and a "mockery of the 65,000 Austrian Jews killed in the Shoah."
The JTA reports that Jewish community president Ariel Muzicant helped organize a candlelit anti-Rosenkranz rally on March 25, drawing thousands outside the Hofburg Palace, the seat of the Austrian presidency. The rally grew out of an anti-Rosenkranz Facebook group that had more than 91,000 members as of two weeks before the elections.
Like Germany, Austria has a law banning Holocaust denial. (See my earlier column for additional information.) Following the public outcry over her criticism of the Austrian law banning Holocaust denial, Nazi organizations and Nazi ideology as "an unnecessary restriction" on freedom of opinion, Rosenkranz signed a public declaration "disassociating" herself from Nazi ideology. This has not helped her in the public eye and at least one journalist branded Rosenkranz a "closet Nazi.”
American historian Stan Nadel, who teaches in Salzburg, said Rosenkranz
Knowing all this about Rosenkranz, will Austrian’s elect her as president? Will they make a closet Hitler their leader? That’s a scary thought for an American Jew. I can’t even imagine the fear that thought puts into the hearts and souls of Austrian and European Jews.