[ 28. Apr 2015 ]

Square in front of Vienna's Eurovision Venue named after Nazi Architect


The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 takes place at the Wiener Stadthalle, a Viennese venue that recently changed it's address to Roland-Rainer-Platz number 1. Roland Rainer was a member of the National Socialist NSDAP party. In his academic works Rainer endorsed Nazi policies.


After the war Rainer tried to keep his involvement a secret. He made a career in post-war architecture and worked as a professor at various universities. He held on to most of the architectural concepts he created during the Nazi era, but erased some problematic terms from his works. "Rainer's approach is based on national-socialist ideologies that are a conglomerate of a hostility towards cities, the ultimate importance of race and centralistic controlled planning" (:: "'Wien. Die Perle des Reiches' - Planen für Hitler", Architekturzentrum Wien, P. 64) Before Rainer joined the Nazi party he had been a member of the Vaterländische Front - the ruling party during the era of Austrofascism, which preceded Nazism in Austria.

Over the last decade Rainer's Nazi Party membership was a well known fact. In 2006, however, the Vienna City Council decided to name the public open space in front of the Wiener Stadthalle after Roland Rainer.

In July 2013 a study was published by the Cultural Office of the Vienna City Council (MA7) which came to the conclusion that Rainer's writings were influenced by racist novelist Arthur de Gobineau. The report also confirmed his membership in the NSDAP and that he stuck to most of his political believes after 1945 (:: "Forschungsprojektendbericht Straßennamen Wiens seit 1860 als 'Politische Erinnerungsorte'", P. 130). In 2014 - one year after this report was published - the Wiener Stadthalle nevertheless decided to change it's address from "Vogelweidplatz" to "Roland-Rainer-Platz".

The initiative "Roland-Rainer-Platz umbenennen" (en: "Re-name Roland-Rainer-Square") wants to raise awareness and draw attention to the fact that even in the new millennium streets and squares in Vienna are still named after fascists and Nazis. Roland Rainer is not the only one!

For further questions and personal contact write to: rainer.platz.umbenennen (at)