Vienna Schoolteacher: “What Are We Supposed to Integrate Them Into?”

A veteran schoolteacher in Vienna named Susanne Wiesinger decided to go on the record with her frank assessment of what cultural enrichment has done to Viennese schools. The fact that this report could air, even if only on internet TV, is a sign of how much the political winds have shifted in Austria.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   Susanne Wiesinger has worked for the last twenty-five years as teacher in Wien-Favoriten.
00:05   the largest school district in Austria. She warns: many schools
00:10   are getting more and more out of control. The problems in the classromm
00:15   are almost impossible to solve anymore. —This is simply too much. It’s a class of
00:20   Twenty-five where twenty-one children are supposed to be integrated into our society,
00:25   not only with respect to language, but also culturally.
00:30   Nobody can manage that.
00:36   What are we supposed to integrate them into? We are the only ones from
00:40   the Austrian majority society that they know. It’s the first time that a personal representative
00:46   from the Social-Democratic Teacher Union has talked this openly about Viennese schools.
00:51   You could say that this is a cry for help from a deeply-invested teaching professional.
00:56   Wiesinger has taught for ten years at a new middle school in Vienna.
01:01   Three hundred students. Almost all of them have a migration background.
01:06   It’s a typical special-needs school. Previously, reports the 53-year-old,
01:11   she was still capable of getting through to students with the content. Today they —
01:17   especially Muslim students — are hardly interested in it.
01:22   I believe that the difference between their world at home
01:27   and our world is so large that they cannot reconcile them.
01:32   The Shariah is for my… for many of my students
01:37   surely… superior.
01:42   It is already.
01:47   This is the most important thing, to be a good Muslim man or a good Muslim woman.
01:52   It is also clear in the classroom.
01:57   Music and dance are rejected on religious grounds.
02:02   Also discussions and fights break down more and more often along religious lines.
02:08   In addition, Susanne Wiesinger notices that many Muslim parents develop
02:13   a growing animosity towards education. It’s often only about the Muslim faith.
02:18   This is what, in their eyes, is worth more,
02:23   in which they are superior to us. Because they are believing Muslims.
02:28   And when this is the only thing left, then it’s dangerous.
02:33   Then it’s developing in a direction that isn’t healthy for society.
02:38   That Islam is more and more influential in many Viennese schools, and that
02:43   more and more students speak increasingly worse German, even though they were born in Austria,
02:48   that we are taking the risk to lose generations of young migrants:
02:53   this is precisely what a teacher cannot say and shouldn’t be saying publicly.
02:59   And especially when one is — like Susanne Wiesinger — a member of the Social Democratic
03:04   Teacher Faction in Green-Red-ruled Vienna.
03:09   We are always warned not to talk to the media. I’m under the impression that
03:14   that now I can say even less. Because you are trembling like a rabbit before a snake
03:19   in fear of ÖVP [Austrian People’s Party, center right] and FPÖ.[Freedom Party of Austria, right]
03:24   At the Vienna School Board they pretend not to know anything about a muzzle for critical teachers.
03:29   But it’s also useless to talk to the media, says the board president, Heinrich Himmer.
03:35   No problem will be solved this way. —When a teacher tells something from his or her experience,
03:41   there’s always the question of whether this can be generalized for the entire school system.
03:45   And this is the question: What is the message that I’m sending? Is what I’m sending:
03:50   “Don’t come in my school because all those who do come experience Hell on Earth.”?
03:55   When someone has a feeling he has to share it with the media, then it’s a subject that should
04:01   be taken seriously, one that will be worked on. That’s what we’re here for; that’s what we do.
04:05   We’re also experiencing how sensitive the subject is for the Vienna school board
04:10   during our recording with Susanne Wiesinger. —Could you
04:15   forbid me to do it? Yes, right? Both the responsible school district
04:20   inspector and the spokesperson for the State School Council, Himmer, call on the phone.
04:25   And they tell her very clearly what they think about her going public.
04:31   It would have helped us, really,
04:36   if they would end up admitting, if they would say: “Yes, we have no resources
04:41   and we have slept through the integration policy, and you are now left with [the results],
04:46   and you don’t know where to go from here.” But what is really destroying us —
04:51   and I can say it — is this “it’s not the case, look, how great
04:56   all the schools are working!” President Himmer rejects the accusation
05:01   that the School Board is knowingly ignoring the problems in the classrooms
05:04   for party [political] reasons. He was unfortunately not aware of many cases
05:12   not reported when there’s a problem only because it could be somehow
05:17   wrongly interpreted, because one also as teacher receives a minus, because
05:22   one cannot solve certain concrete problems. Christian Klar is one of few school principals
05:27   in Vienna who calls a spade a spade; and is strongly criticized for that.
05:32   Lately the SPÖ [Social-Democratic Party] State School counselor Himmer reproached him because he —
05:37   an ÖVP member — brings party politics to school. —I have the feeling it’s largely about ideology,
05:42   and not about solving problems. I would like it if children who do not fit in
05:47   in the regular schools did not have to go there; and in particular cases I would also like
05:52   to have the possibility of giving them detention, punishments,
05:57   to be able to force someone who makes the school dirty to clean it up,
06:00   which is already the case, but it happens actually on the edge of the law.
06:08   The fact that one as teacher at the special needs schools is cursed at and sometimes even
06:13   physically attacked is truly not a new problem, but it’s getting worse.
06:18   As long as I’m not here. Nobody goes. Please, good. Especially
06:23   the religious conflicts among [the students] are growing.
06:28   With different backgrounds there’s always a classroom war raging among all possible cultures,
06:33   and their origins and religion are for the kids unfortunately much too important.
06:38   And we have some big problems with the upbringing of those from Islamic families or
06:43   groups. When you mention it, you are relegated to the right corner,
06:49   instead of saying: “Oh, there’s a problem there; we have to tackle it.” I would
06:54   welcome it if the Islam classes were to be removed from school.
06:59   The school principal is not alone in worrying that the Islam class makes integration harder.
07:04   We’re meeting an Iraqi father who would like to tell us about
07:09   his experiences with a [female] Islam teacher. Fearing negative
07:14   Consequences, he would like to remain anonymous.
07:19   I don’t want my daughter to learns either Arabic or Islam. I brought her here
07:24   so that she might learn German. The Islam teacher told me that it’s not enough;
07:30   it’s mandatory to take that class.
07:35   An isolated case? Or do Islam teachers take advantage of the ignorance of some parents on purpose,
07:40   in order to convey a particular way of understanding Islam?
07:45   They lied to us. The Islam teacher [female] told me:
07:50   “It’s your fault that we are no longer treated with respect in Austria.”
07:55   Why do you allow your daughter to kiss the hand of an Austrian teacher [female]? You are Muslim!
08:00   This is religiously forbidden. The danger for the children is big. They are taking advantage
08:05   of the children. They are trying to get access through the class.
08:10   About thirty thousand students take Islamic religious classes in Vienna.
08:16   As far as content is concerned, it’s the responsibility of religious community.
08:20   Anyway, the Islam teachers are under the supervision of the State School Council.
08:25   Well, whatever is taught there, our democratic values, which we exercise and have here in Austria,
08:30   are supposed to be respected, independent of religious convictions.
08:35   For example, we are considering offering an all-encompassing religious class.
08:41   There are policies that have been here for many decades now that aren’t that easy to get rid of.
08:46   For Christian Klar those propositions aren’t going far enough.
08:51   The principal in a new middle school in Vienna Floridsdorf demands a headscarf ban.
08:56   There are some children who are very, very strongly influenced by Islam,
09:01   and more precisely: influenced by conservative Islam. What women say doesn’t count;
09:06   young girls have no rights; of course the headscarf is a huge topic.
09:11   I have therefore a lot of hope that sometime soon
09:16   a headscarf ban will be introduced. I believe this would help the children.
09:22   Even now the half of all the students in Vienna have a migration background.
09:27   This is a rising trend. The school system grows every year
09:32   by about 3,000 students. The integration work becomes increasingly more difficult.
09:37   It has to be done by teachers like Susanne Wiesinger, because there is a shortage of
09:42   school social workers everywhere. This critical teacher is not the only one
09:45   who has doubts about whether the 300 psychologists
09:48   and social workers for Vienna schools promised by the politicians will ever arrive.

10 thoughts on “Vienna Schoolteacher: “What Are We Supposed to Integrate Them Into?”

  1. Islam is no different from National Socialism. “Aryans” and Muslims are told they are superior and everyone else is Uentermenschen.
    What has Islam ever given the world but torment and chaos?

    • Nothing. It has given nothing. Which begs the question, what justifies their arrogance?

      Why are all of these barbarians in Vienna of all places? Tone-deaf to culture or the life of the mind, they should be shipped back to the cultural voids from which they crawled.

  2. The question of this mass immigration has left me reaching a variety of conclusions over time. Currently, I believe that the childless European leaders, with their parents having failed to satisfactorily eliminate the Jews, decided to flood the continent with mohammedans to finish the job. Self immolation, yes. But the cold comfort of a job being completed beyond their own mortality is achieved.

  3. Blame must be placed squarely on the heads of the establishment politicians. They have created this problem and they perpetuate it by refusing to address it.

  4. National Socialism has given Germany in 7 years a lot more than Islam ever gave the world.

    National Socialism gave the collective subconscious of the German volk not only a voice, but a leader in which they could finally reside fully, without compromise. It gave them freedom from the enslaving debts which were installed to keep them under a joke. Economic resurgence, a return to an embracement of their strength and identity and, unfortunately, war.

    Islam on the other has given the world terror and an incredibly naive and unrealistic ‘peace of mind’ that comes with an ideology that is by definition always right and superior to every other imaginable brain activity. Think ‘X’ and do ‘Y’ and you are free from all other potential burdens in life.

    • May I wonder out loud if this is a sincere comment, or rather a test of GoV readership’s take on National Socialist sympathies?

      I will volunteer my own opinion here that I find National Socialism to be evil to the core, and I hope the comment above (or others expressing the same sympathies) does nothing to distract from the value in this blog.

      • I wondered the same thing when I happened upon it. Maybe the B was in a hurry to get out the door for Palm Sunday. I hope I remember to ask.

  5. A lot of people myself included assumed that immigrants would be expected to integrate or assimilate into the host society. Big mistake. The doctrine of multi-culti, defined in numerous UN declarations, says explicitly that different racial/religious/ideological groups are entitled to maintain their own culture wherever they are, at our expense.

    It’s madness.

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