“Tea Party” with Aleksa Đilas: The Post-war Austrian Left and the Question of Responsibility

Following the life and work of Christian Broda and the period during which he had occupied the most prominent political positions in the post-war Austria, Aleksa Đilas in his lecture entitled “An Austrian Friend – Democratic Socialism of Christian Broda” dealt with perhaps the most important social and political topic of the post-war Austria: the question of the attitude of the political elite and citizens of Austria towards the National Socialism and the role of Austria in WWII.

Highlighting the many achievements and important legal reforms initiated and implemented by Christian Broda (1916–1987), primarily as the long-term Minister of Justice in the Federal Government of Austria, which in their own way had contributed to Austria’s development into a modern social-democratic country, Đilas stressed the ethical dilemmas and challenges that Broda had been facing, just like many other social-democratic politicians, as well as the entire Austrian society. Using the example of Christian Broda’s biography, as well as the biographies of other leading post-war politicians in Austria, who had not only advocated for their ideals, but indeed lived them, Đilas managed to show that the questions of collective guilt and social moral responsibility are often so intricate that, representatives of the political Left, led with their political pragmatism, but at the cost of potential long-term social consequences, often consciously avoid them.

The lecture was given on 14 December 2023 in the Institute of Social Sciences, within the cycle of Regional Tea-Parties entitled “The Left”, organised in cooperation with the Academic Network for Cooperation in Southeast Europe.

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Annual program of the "The Left - Regional Tea Party" seminar

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30. 11. 2022.

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