Austrian city to rename street honouring Porsche founder over alleged Nazi links

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By AFP  with Euronews
Porsche has told Austrian media that it did not support the move.
Porsche has told Austrian media that it did not support the move.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson, File

An Austrian city will rename a street honouring carmaker Ferdinand Porsche due to his "problematic links with Nazism".

The city council in Linz is expected to formally rename "Porscheweg" ("Porsche Road") next week, a spokesperson told AFP.

The founder of the luxury carmaker, who died in 1951, has been accused of "accepting" Nazi ideology and the persecution of Jews.

In 2019, Linz councillors commissioned six experts to investigate links between Porsche and anti-Semitism.

"Porsche played a central role in the National Socialism war economy and actively promoted the forced labour of prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates," the city said in a statement.

"[He] accepted their deaths and the deaths of their children due to the inhumane conditions in the camps”, it added.

Porsche told the Kurier newspaper that it did not support the renaming move.

“In our view, erasing history in public space does not lead to any social progress,” it said.

In addition to the "Porsche Road", three other streets honouring controversial figures are to be renamed in Linz as part of a long-ignored remembrance initiative. No new names have yet been decided.

The commission identified 64 "problematic" street names, referring to members of the Nazi party.

Austria, the native country of Adolf Hitler that was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, has long presented itself as a victim of Nazism and did not begin to reexamine its responsibility during the Holocaust until the 1980s.

In total, 65,000 Austrian Jews were murdered and another 130,000 were forced into exile during World War II.