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Austrian politician sacked for loving Jorg Haider

Gert Eggenberger/Getty Images Austrian politics are turning out to be uncharacteristically interesting these days. Stefan Petzner (right), the successor to Jörg Haider, was sacked yesterday after admitting to having a long-running affair with the leader of Austria’s far right. Haider died earlier this month in a high-speed car crash after drinking heavily at a gay ...

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Gert Eggenberger/Getty Images

Austrian politics are turning out to be uncharacteristically interesting these days. Stefan Petzner (right), the successor to Jörg Haider, was sacked yesterday after admitting to having a long-running affair with the leader of Austria’s far right.

Haider died earlier this month in a high-speed car crash after drinking heavily at a gay club. Then on Wednesday, Petzner announced that Haider was “the man of my life,” and that “we had a special relationship that went far beyond friendship.” Before meeting Haider, the 27-year-old Petzner had previously been a journalist writing about cosmetic treatments. His ascent to the head of the party was seen as a fulfillment of Haider’s last wish, as Haider had frequently mentioned that he wanted Petzner to succeed him.

Haider’s homosexuality had been widely rumored, though the mainstream Austrian press had refrained from reporting on it before Petzner’s tell-all interview. Haider became infamous for his seemingly sympathetic views toward the Nazi regime. If only this conflicted man was still alive, and one could confront him with evidence about what the Nazis did to people like him.

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