sentence in his biograph- of Hitler tornmusing about this verv subjeet: aboutrnwhat the world might have been sparedrnif Hitler had been accepted by thernacadem. An examiner rejected his portfoliornbecause of a lack of head drawings.rnThe examiner did not see the portfoliornthat contained head drawings goodrnenough for cntr into an’ art academwrnhi a ragged copy of a little book, WulfrnSeharzwiiller’s The Unknown Hitler,rnwhich I stumbled upon in a secondhandrnbookstore, I found the name of thernVienna Acadcm’s director: ProfessorrnSiegmund I’Allemand, who was indeedrnJevish. Perhaps this was whv thernacadem never answered mv querv.rn1 lied in the age of Hitler, and I wasrneen in close proximit’ to him—withinrnfive miles of him in the skies over Berlinrnon February 5, 1945, m a USAAF B17.rnM guess is that Hitler was even morernprone to dream that particular da’ aboutrnwandering through Ital’ as a painter.rnMark Warren writes from Cincinnati,rnOhio.rnPOLITICSrnAustria’s PopulistrnFacernby Donald WarrenrnEuropean nations are seeing their culturalrnif not their actual bordersrnweakened b- multiculturalism and thernprocess known as “McDonaldization.”rnBut Austrians, in contrast to their neighborsrnin Germanw where status quo politicsrnare the order of the day, are avidUrnprotesting the corruption, incompetence,rnand slack enforcement of immigrationrnrestrictions characteristic of thern”Grand Coalition”—a two-partv consociationrnof socialists and conservativesrnthat has held a irtual monopolv overrnAustria’s politics since the end of WoridrnWkr II.rnThus, the national election of thisrnpast October represented vet anotherrnchapter in an ongoing political revolution.rnReaders of these pages have pcriodicallvrnbeen apprised of a remarkablernrising star in populist politics—Austria’srndashing opposition leader, ]6rg Haider.rnThe charismatic figure who has cxedrnthe political establishment of this proudrnmiddle Kuropean nation of seven millionrnonce again defied the odds andrnpulled off a major electoral triumph.rnLast autumn’s parliamentary voternbrought Haider’s Freedom Party (FPO)rnto within five percentage points of becomingrnthe second most popular party,rnnearly edging out the ever-weakeningrnSocial Democrats and lackluster traditionalrnconservatives. The FPO gainedrnneadv a quarter of the seats in Austria’srngoverning representative body, taking ‘etrnanother step in what Haider’s enemiesrnhave called his “Kampf,” or in what hisrnsympathizers have termed his “LongrnMarch.” In the eight years since Haider’srnascendancy to the leadership of whatrnwas a languishing and marginalized “oldrnnationalist” and 19th ccntur-stle Liberalrnpart-, the FPO has trebled its electoralrnsupport.rnAlmost from the beginning of his risernto national prominence, Haider has beenrnthe target of both the traditional rightrnand the socialist left, which have brandedrnhim a dangerous neo-Nazi andrnextreme nationalist whose politicalrnascendancy would spell the doom ofrndemocracy in Austria. He is accused ofrnbeing an opportunist who appeals tornxenophobia and racism in an effort tornawaken the “silent majorit” of the Austrianrnelectorate. This characterizationrnnotwithstanding, Haider has time andrnagain proved the academic experts andrnpolitical pundits incapable of gaugingrneither his strategic skills or the depth ofrnhis appeal,rnHaider has indeed taken a number ofrnrisks in his electoral rise, making his sharernof blunders. In 1986, his ill-advised, ifrninad’ertent, praise of the Third Reich’srnemployment policies forced his resignationrnas governor of Carinthia, his homernprovince. By wa’ of a political comeback,rnHaider assumed the partv chairmanshiprnto promote Heide Schmidt, arnrising young pariiamentary leader andrnonce-dedicated loyalist nurtured at hisrnside, into the national political arena.rnShe ran as the FPO presidential candidaternin 1992. Despite losing some supportrnfrom traditionalists in rural andrnsmall illage areas, Schmidt attained arnrespectable 18 percent of the vote, drawingrnmany middle-class Austrians to herrnbanner.rnFlushed by her relatixe success andrnmedia attention, Schmidt proceeded tornspearhead a revolt against her mentorrnliy forming the Liberal Forum in earlyrn1993, and in the aftermath of this muchballvhooedrndivorce, experts announcedrnthe imminent demise of Haider. It wasrnthen that I laider committed what manyrnconsider his worst blunder to date: he opposedrnAustria’s entrance into the EuropeanrnCommunity. Haider told me lastrnMa’ that although the F’PO was not opposedrnin principle to the E.G., its flawedrnstructure could put Austria at a disadvantagedrnposition regarding protectionrnof its scenic ecology and the financial arrangementsrnestablished b- other German-rnspeaking nations.rnLlaider also dismissed the label “Germanrnnationalist,” pointing out that inrnearlier decades the FPO had championedrnthe cause of European union. “Atrnthat time,” he told me, “we were accusedrnof promoting a new type of Anschluss.”rnHe described the push towardrnthe E.G. by the two coalition parties asrnthe lieight of hypocrisy. 1 lis own oppositionrnwas conditional: he felt the rulingrnparties had failed to negotiate a dealrngood enough for Austria.rnIn June, when the voters startled evenrnprofessional pollsters by their resoundingrn70 percent endorsement of the referendumrnjoining Austria to the E.G., the curtainrnwas once again said to have fallen onrnthe political future of the Freedom Part’rnand its leader. Yet the October electionrnrevealed Haider’s determination to targetrnthe disgruntled blue-collar familiesrnof Vienna’s traditional “Red” neighborhoods,rnwhich has absorbed the brunt ofrnmulticultural education policies. Whenrnthe fall vote was tallied, the socialistsrnhad lost nearly 8 percent of their base, orrn14 pariiamentary seats—shrinking to justrnover a third of the electorate. The AustrianrnPeople’s Partv (OVP), with its corernof Catholic middle- and working-classrnfamilies, surrendered eight seats, droppingrntheir total to 52. The FreedomrnParty, following close behind, gainedrnnine seats, boosting its total to 42. (ThernGreen Party also showed gains againstrnthe ruling coalition parties, adding threernseats to its former total of ten.)rnWhat accounts for Haider’s success?rnCertainly he does not follow the traditionalrnright-wing politics of fiscal conservatismrnand religious zealotrw Nor isrnFEBRUARY 1995/43rnrnrn