FECL 48 (November 1996):
In the night of 3-4 December, an arson attack was carried out against the editorial offices of the Slovenian weekly newspaper, Slovenski vestnik in Klagenfurt, the capital of the Austrian Province of Carinthia, in which there is an important Slovenian minority. The Slovenski vestnik building also houses other organisations of the Slovenian minority like the Federation of Slovene Organisations, the Federation of Slovene Cultural Associations, and the publishing company, Drava. The fire took hold in three rooms and caused considerable damage. Before lighting the fire, the perpetrators broke into the newspapers offices and stole a number of important documents, computers, floppy disks containing address lists, and a large sum of money. As the fire was discovered rapidly, no people were harmed.
A week earlier, Slovenski vestnik and several other media of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia received letters of threat showing swastikas. "We will soon slaughter you, Slovenian pigs. Our honour lies in our loyalty! Heil Hitler!", the message said.
In September, a similar arson attack was carried out against a Slovenian secondary school in Klagenfurt. The perpetrators were never arrested. The 3rd of December was the third anniversary of the beginning of the first series of letter bombs addressed mostly to Austrian citizens known for helping refugees and immigrants. Several addressees were seriously injured (see FECL No.31: "Interior Minister shuts his eyes to neo-Nazi terrorism", No.32: "'Drag net' search in Carinthia" ). The Interior Ministry recently warned that there could be further attacks on the anniversary of the letter bombings.
In view of the seriousness of this most recent arson attack, we would be very grateful if you could write to the Austrian Interior Minister calling on him to carry out as rapidly as possible a thorough investigation into this arson attack and the threatening letters, and to provide adequate protection for the members and infrastructures of the different minorities living in Austria. It would also be helpful if you could inform the Austrian embassy about your concern.
Bundesminister Dr. Caspar Einem
Fax: +43/1 531263910
Please send copies of your letters to the editorial board of Slovenski vestnik and to the European Civic Forum and inform them about any other steps you take.
Slovenski vestnik, Tarviser Strasse 16, A-9020 Klagenfurt/Celovec, Fax: +43/463 51430071
European Civic Forum, Lobnik 16, A-9135 Bad Eisenkappel/Zelezna Kapla, Fax: +43/423887054, email: firstname.lastname@example.org