Irene Harand

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Irene Harand (born September 7, 1900 in Vienna , † February 2, 1975 in New York City ) was an Austrian author and political activist who was best known as an opponent of National Socialism .


The 2010 monument to Irene Harand on the square of the same name

In the late 1920s, Harand worked in the “Association of Small Pensioners and Savers Austria” of the Jewish lawyer Moriz Zalman (born November 7, 1882 in Bârlad , Romania ; died May 29, 1940 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp ), who volunteered for victims of the Inflation set in. In this association she finally became his deputy and wrote for the newspaper Welt am Morgen .

In 1930 she and Zalman founded the "Austrian People's Party" (not affiliated with the ÖVP of the Second Republic ), which campaigned for small pensioners and the poor and, in contrast to the other parties in Austria, took an active stand against anti-Semitism . In the elections on November 9, 1930 , the party received only 0.4 percent of the vote and could not move into the National Council.

In autumn 1933, Zalman and Harand founded the "World Movement Against Racial Hatred and Human Need", which became known as the "Harand Movement" and which appeared as an antithesis to the NSDAP "Hitler Movement" . Between 1933 and 1938 the “Harand Movement” had several thousand members and local groups in many European countries. Their mouthpiece was the weekly newspaper Gerechtigkeit , which appeared from 1933 to 1938 with a circulation of around 28,000 copies - for a short time also in Polish and French. A world congress of the "Harand Movement" failed in 1937 due to the financial resources of the organization and the lack of support from the Austrian authorities.

Her book His Struggle was published in 1935 . Answer to Hitler , which she published at her own expense, in which she refuted various anti-Semitic stereotypes and in a separate chapter went into the falsification of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion . The book was published in French in 1936 and in English in 1937. In extensive lecture tours through Europe and the USA (1937) Irene Harand tried to mobilize the public against National Socialism and in particular against anti-Semitism. Since she was of the opinion that precarious economic conditions formed a breeding ground for the ideology of the National Socialists, she took on company sponsorships and organized Christmas presents for the children of the poor and the sending of food packages to the needy. She promised hoteliers, especially in rural areas, free advertisements in the newspaper Gerechtigkeit , provided that they subscribed to the magazine and committed to accepting every guest regardless of their origin or religion. As a protest against the Munich exhibition “ The Eternal Jew ”, the “Harand Movement” issued sealing stamps with portraits of famous Jewish personalities.

The staunch Catholic Irene Harand was a monarchist and a supporter of Austrofascism until the 1940s . The "Harand Movement" became part of the Fatherland Front and defended the authoritarian course of the governments of Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg until the end . However , the “Harand movement” took a massive stand against anti-Semitic currents within Austrofascism and the Catholic Church in Austria .

In 1938 a bounty of 100,000 Reichsmarks was placed on Irene Harand and her books were publicly burned in Salzburg . Harand, who was in Great Britain at the time, could not be caught and fled to the USA, where she co-founded the exile organization “ Austrian Forum ” and in the 1940s the women's organization of the American “Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human” Rights ”. She also helped Austrian Jews obtain visas for the USA, which allowed more than 100 people to flee from Nazi persecution. In 1941 she was involved in founding the Free Austrian Movement in London . In 1969 she was honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as “ Righteous Among the Nations ” and in 1971 she received the Gold Medal for Services to the Republic of Austria.

Gravesite of Irene Harand

Irene Harand died in New York in 1975. Her ashes were buried on June 27, 1975 in an honorary grave (section ARI, number 153) of the municipality of Vienna in the urn grove of the Simmering fire hall .


  • A - 1990 the house Judengasse 4 was Viennese municipal - on the initiative of Peter Marboe on Irene Harand Hof renamed.
  • On October 29, 2008, the Irene-Harand-Platz in front of the Paulanerkirche on Wiedner Hauptstrasse was named after her.
  • In the course of a new edition of Irene Harand's book Sein Kampf , more than 100 artists, writers, scientists and publicists gave the Austrian back their vote on March 12, 2005 in the Archbishop's Palace in Vienna and via a video wall on Stephansplatz . The reading took place under the image of Christ that was pierced by daggers during the storm of the Hitler Youth on October 8, 1938 and left in this state as a reminder.


  • Either way? The truth about anti-Semitism. Austrian People's Party, Vienna 1933.
  • "His fight." Reply to Hitler. 351 pages. Vienna 1935. ( 1935, 2. A. 5. – 10. Thousand. Online as PDF)
  • "Son Combat." Réponse á Hitler. Bruxelles et Vienne 1936.
  • "His Struggle." (An Answer to Hitler) , Chicago 1937.
  • "His Fight" answer to Hitler and his Mein Kampf. English translation by William B. Korach, Laguna Hills CA 1983.
  • Franz R. Reiter (Ed.): His fight. Answer to Hitler. Reproduction of the edition Vienna 1935, Ephelant-Verlag, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-900766-16-9 .
  • "Hitler's Lies." An Answer to Hitler's Mein Kampf. Reproduction of the edition Vienna 1935, Jaico Publishing House, Mumbai 2010, ISBN 978-81-8495-070-0 .


  • Joseph Hausner: Irene Harand and the Movement against Racism, Human Misery and War. 1933-1938. Diss. Columbia University New York, 1974.
  • Christian Klösch u. a. (Ed.): Against racial hatred and human misery. Irene Harand, the life and work of an unusual resistance fighter . Studien-Verlag, Innsbruck 2004, ISBN 3-7065-1918-6 (+ 1 CD)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Daniel Fraenkel, Jakob Borut (ed.): Lexicon of the Righteous Among the Nations: Germans and Austrians . Wallstein Verlag , Göttingen 2005; ISBN 3-89244-900-7 ; P. 318
  2. Irene Harand on the website of Yad Vashem (English)