Erich Feigl

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Erich Feigl (born September 24, 1931 in Vienna ; † January 27, 2007 there ) was an Austrian journalist , publicist and documentary filmmaker .


Erich Feigl has worked as a writer since his student days. Among other things, he wrote biographies about the last Austrian imperial couple Karl I and Zita von Bourbon-Parma and Otto von Habsburg . As a book author, he dealt with the history of Austria as well as the Middle East . His last book, the Silk Road through Tierra del Fuego , a first German-language history of Azerbaijan , could not be published during his lifetime and was published by his long-time friend and colleague Adolf Opel the year after his death .

Feigl was the recipient of numerous Austrian and international awards, knight of the Order of Constantine and Knight of the Order of Lazarus , about whose history, character and activities he published a book in 1974. The charitable work of the Christian aid organization of the order was a particular concern for him.

Erich Feigl died of kidney failure at the age of 76 after being hospitalized with a gastric bleeding. On February 5, 2007, the cremation ceremony took place in the Simmering fire hall in Vienna. The urn came to the Geras Abbey and was later given to the family.


Social activities

Feigl was active in a leading position in the Lazarus Relief Organization Austria, whose president he became in 2005. The aid organization offers social assistance services for the elderly, the disabled and the sick, and operates ambulance services and travel services. The relief organization provides international disaster relief and set up the first oxygen emergency service in Europe. Feigl also campaigned for the rights of lesbian women and homosexual men. In this context he was a co-founder, supporter and promoter of the Lambda Legal Committee , which campaigns for legal equality for homosexuals in Austria, and was a member of its board of trustees until his death.


Erich Feigl had been a leading figure in the Austrian monarchist scene since the 1950s, and he was closely connected to the House of Habsburg through personal contacts with Empress Zita and Otto von Habsburg . He worked as the Austrian federal chairman of the Pan-European Movement and was an honorary member of the monarchist ÖSTV Ottonia, which has been called Corps der Ottonen Vienna since October 2007 . In 1989 Feigl was a key member of the “Committee for the Funeral Ceremonies of Empress and Queen Zita” in Vienna. He was also a key member of the Kaiser Karl Prayer League for World Peace , which initiated the beatification process for Emperor Karl I in 1954 , after which he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004 . Feigl told the news magazine Der Spiegel : "The Kaiser is an unparalleled helper, a real specialist in hopeless situations." When Austrian monarchists formed the Black-Yellow Alliance in 2004 , Feigl took an active part in building it up and received one the year before his death Honorary membership awarded.

Interpretation of the Mayerling affair

In 1984 Feigl caused a sensation with his book Kaiser Karl with the thesis of the murder of Crown Prince Rudolf on January 30, 1889 in Mayerling Castle . Feigl relied on testimony from the Empress Zita and her brother Franz Xaver von Bourbon-Parma . According to this theory, the Crown Prince and his girlfriend Maria von Vetsera fell victim to the politics of Georges Clemenceau , who wanted to provoke a coup in Austria . When Crown Prince Rudolf did not allow himself to be instrumentalized for such a project, Clemenceau had him killed to prevent the plan from betraying Otto von Bismarck .

“A group of professional murderers gained access to the hunting lodge with the help of a ladder and killed the Crown Prince after a scuffle. The same men would have murdered Mary Vetsera, who was housed in another part of the castle, and laid her next to the dead Crown Prince in order to completely compromise him. The perpetrators then escaped undetected. Apparently they would have waived a pursuit because of the explosive circumstances. ”“

Controversial theses on the genocide of the Armenians

A long-time friend of Feigl, Erdoğan Özen, born in 1950, was a Turkish attaché for guest workers and social issues in Austria. On June 20, 1984, Özen was killed by a car bomb in front of his embassy in Vienna by members of the Armenian terrorist group Asala . Because already because of the year of his birth, the victim “had absolutely nothing to do with the tragic events of 1915 that killed so many Armenians and Muslims”, and Feigl was sure that his friend was someone who “would have helped poor or persecuted Armenians ", He decided at the" moment when I heard the news of Erdogan's death "to do research on Armenian terrorism. In Feigl's subsequent films and books on this subject, such as A Myth of Terror and Armenian Mythomania , he does not assess the genocide of the Armenians as a unilateral fault on the part of Turkey, but sees many causes for this tragedy, including the successful American mission alongside the Turkish part Protestants among the Armenians, who divided the people, and a collaboration between Armenians and the Turkish war opponent Russia in the First World War. Feigl also draws attention to the fact that most of the works on the expulsion of the Armenians ignored what, in his opinion, was much greater suffering of the Muslims in the Ottoman Empire at the same time. As he wrote in the epilogue of A Myth of Terror , Feigl himself understood his attempt at Armenian-Turkish historiography as an argument against the worldview of terrorists who basically seek the blame on others and want to take revenge. His perspective found approval in Azerbaijan and Turkey, but earned him many harsh criticisms. The Armenian-American author Walter B. Kalaidjian Feigl accused of being dependent on the “standard arguments” of the Young Turkish government in his theses. In a review of a book by Edgar Hilsenrath in the Simon Wiesenthal Center's yearbook, Dagmar Lorenz, the director of the Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago , evaluates A Myth of Terror as a revisionist publication that is full of misleading details.

Awards and honors



  • Turkey, Europe and Public Opinion: A Myth of Error Wien: Amalthea, 1999, ISBN 3-85002-423-7 .
  • Crescent moon and cross. Marco d'Aviano and saving Europe . Amalthea, Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-85002-326-5 .
  • Emperor Karl I. A life for the peace of his peoples Amalthea, Vienna 1990, ISBN 3-85002-291-9 .
  • Empress Zita. Crown witness of a century . Amalthea, Vienna 1989, ISBN 3-85002-277-3 .
  • The Kurds. History and fate of a people . Universitas-Verlag, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-8004-1322-1 .
  • A myth of terror. Armenian terrorism, its causes and background . Contemporary history edition, Freilassing 1986
  • Musil of Arabia. Champion of the Islamic world . Ullstein, Frankfurt / M. 1988, ISBN 3-548-27560-5 .
  • Otto von Habsburg. Protocol of a political life . Amalthea, Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-85002-244-7 .
  • Otto von Habsburg. Profile of a life . Amalthea, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85002-327-3 .
  • Limbo to Paradise . Zsolnay, Vienna 1982, ISBN 3-552-03400-5 .
  • Zita. Empress and Queen . Amalthea, Vienna 1991, ISBN 3-85002-307-9 .
  • God preserve ... - Emperor Karl: personal records and documents . Amalthea, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-85002-520-9 .


60 documentaries, mostly for ORF , but also for BR , ZDF and TRT (Turkish TV) in co-production.

  • Journey into the early Christian world and The heirs of the early Christian world , etc. a. with personalities like Emperor Haile Selassie or Patriarch Athenagoras
  • The world religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, Christianity : a series about great cultures and personalities,
  • A tropical dream (the Mayans)
  • The gold treasure (Howard Carter and Tut Anch Amun) Incas and Aztecs etc.
  • People and Myths (The Sikhs, the Parsees, the Bardo etc.)
  • 3 films each with Empress Zita and Otto von Habsburg , also about Alois Musil (Syria, Iraq),
  • The religions of Mesopotamia ("On the rivers of Paradise"),
  • three films about Ephesus ( If the gods love , the Southeast Anatolian project water is power )
  • a special series about his view of ASALA terrorism ( A myth of terror )
  • Rebirth and Bardo and Buddhism (all with the Dalai Lama)

Web links

Single receipts

  1. Erich Feigl: Silk Road through Tierra del Fuego. The history of Azerbaijan. Vienna: Amalthea 2008, ISBN 978-3-85002-667-3 .
  2. Erich Feigl: The military and hospital order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. Memento. Vienna: Chancellery of the Grand Priory of Austria des Ordre Militaire et Hospitalier de Saint-Lazare de Jerusalem 1974.
  3. Bestattung Wien ( Memento of the original from October 25, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. According to information on the Vienna Fire Hall and Geras Abbey
  5. St. Lazarus Hilfswerk (LHW)  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  6. ^ Lambda Legal Committee: Board of Trustees. ( Jus Amandi. Journal for Same-Sex Love and Law 2/01, p. 3) ( Memento of the original from April 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 144 kB).  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. See also Christoph Ransmayr : The way to Surabaya: Reports and little prose. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer 1997, ISBN 978-3-10-062916-6 , pp. 98-100.
  8. ^ "Love of the Nations" DER SPIEGEL 13/1989
  9. “Honor of the Altars.” DER SPIEGEL 45/1982
  10. Erich Feigl: Kaiser Karl. Vienna and Munich: Amalthea Verlag 1984, ISBN 3-85002-179-3 .
  11. Peter Rückl: Mayerling in the course of its history. Thesis. Vienna 2002, p. 78f. ( Memento of the original from March 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 2.1 MB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. Sâmiha Ayverdi: Türkiye'nin Ermeni meselesi. Istanbul: Kubbealtı Neşriyâtı 2007, ISBN 978-975-6444-21-4
  13. Erich Feigl: A Myth of Terror. Armenian Extremism: Its Causes and its Historical Context. Freilassing and Salzburg (Zeitgeschichte edition) 1986 ( Memento of the original from July 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Pp. 6-7.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Erich Feigl: Armenian Mythomania. Armenian extremism. Its Causes and Historical Context. Vienna: Amalthea Signum 2006, ISBN 978-3-85002-583-6 ( online )
  15. Cf. “The Causes of the Armenian Tragedy” in Feigl, A Myth of Terror , pp. 45–46.
  16. Erich Feigl: A Myth of Terror: Armenian Extremism, Its Causes and Its Historical Context , p. 7 Virtually all the information that we have concerning the tragic events of 1915 comes from Armenian sources or from others who know nothing - or at least pretend to know nothing - about the much greater suffering endured by the Muslims at the time. The available information also presents a very incomplete, one-sided view of the events leading up to the tragedy of 1915.
  17. Feigl: A Myth of Terror. P. 142.
  18. Walter B. Kalaidjian: The Edge of Modernism. Baltimore 2006, p. 24.
  19. Dagmar CG Lorenz: "Hilsenraths Other Genocide." (Footnote20) In: Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 7.1990 ( Memento of the original from June 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , ISSN 0741-8450 . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /