Alexander Götz (1928 – 2018)
FPÖ Federal Party Chairman from 1978 to 1979
Chairman of the FPÖ Parliamentary Party in the National Council 1979
Provincial Party Chairman, FPÖ Styria from 1964 to 1983
Mayor of Graz from 1973 to 1983
Alexander Götz was the third federal party chairman in the history of the FPÖ. Yet unlike his predecessor, Friedrich Peter, and his successor, Norbert Steger, Götz was active on the national political stage for only about one and a half years. Götz spent most of his political career in Styria. Thus far, he is the only mayor the Freedom Party has provided in Graz, Austria's second-largest city.
Alexander Götz was born in Graz, Styria, on 27 February 1928. He was the son of Alexander Götz senior, the founding chairman of the Styrian FPÖ. After primary school, Alexander Götz attended secondary school (Bundesrealgymnasium) in Graz, where he obtained his high school certificate. Thereafter, he studied civil engineering at the Graz University of Technology and having successfully completed those studies in 1953, left as a graduate engineer (Diplom-Ingenieur). Thereafter, Götz was employed in the civil service of the Styrian provincial capital of Graz, where he worked as a traffic engineer in the office for road and bridge construction. In 1956 he was awarded a doctorate in law and in 1958 a doctorate in political science.
While still a student, Alexander Götz was one of the co-founders of the Ring of Freedom Party Students (RFS) and also served as chairman of the Graz University of Technology branch of the Austrian National Union of Students. In 1955, he finally joined the FPÖ, which was just in its start-up phase.
Alexander Götz commenced his political career in 1958, when he was elected to the Graz municipal council and, in the very same year, was elected by the latter to the city senate. As city councillor and housing officer, he introduced a points system for the allocation of municipal housing. From 1964 until 1973, Alexander Götz was deputy mayor of Graz, and in 1973, he was elected mayor. He held this position from 1973 until 1983. Alexander Götz’ election as mayor had been facilitated by ÖVP. Subsequent to the Graz SPÖ having lost its absolute majority, the ÖVP members of the Graz municipal council had cast their votes in favour of the candidate of the FPÖ, that council’s third-strongest group. Alexander Götz's era as mayor of Graz included the establishment of a department for citizens' initiatives, a programme for the construction and repair of compulsory schools (made possible through provincial funding), as well as provincial subsidies for public transport companies. The construction of the Augarten bridge and the establishment of the inner-city one-way traffic system also took place during his term of office.
Parallel to his work as deputy mayor and then as mayor of Graz, Alexander Götz was also a member of the Styrian provincial parliament from 1965 to 1974. In addition, for almost twenty years (1964 to 1983), he held the position of party chairman of the FPÖ Styria.
In 1978 Alexander Götz was elected FPÖ federal party chairman, succeeding Friedrich Peter, who had sought a rapprochement with the SPÖ. In contrast to his predecessor, Alexander Götz aspired to bring the FPÖ closer at federal level to the ÖVP. Now he was federal party chairman, Alexander Götz contested the National Council election of 6 May 1979 as the FPÖ's lead candidate. The Freedom Party achieved 6.06 per cent of the vote, a slight increase on its 1975 result, and won 11 National Council seats, having previously had 10 MPs. Alexander Götz then became a member of the National Council and from June to November 1979 was also chairman of the FPÖ parliamentary party there. In the long run, however, it proved impossible to reconcile the role of FPÖ federal party chairman with the duties of mayor of Austria's second largest city. For this reason, Alexander Götz, who had been re-elected mayor of Graz in 1978, returned to local politics. At the 1983 Graz municipal council election, the FPÖ’s share of seats dropped from 14 to 9, however. As a result, Alexander Götz called an end to his political career and moved to the private sector.
While Jörg Haider was party chairman, Alexander Götz’ relationship to the FPÖ was rather distant. A normalisation of the relationship between Alexander Götz and the party only commenced once Heinz Christian Strache had been elected FPÖ federal party chairman in 2005. The former mayor of Graz resumed an active role in the political life of the FPÖ. Alexander Götz finally passed away in Graz on 18 January 2018, at the age of 90. In 1978, he was awarded the Grand Decoration in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.
Main political positions
Provincial Party Chairman, FPÖ Styria
Provincial Member of Parliament, Styria
FPÖ Federal Party Chairman
Mayor of Graz
Chairman of the FPÖ Parliamentary Party in the National Council
Member of the National Council
Alexander Götz on the web pages of the Austrian Parliament:
Audio recording of Alexander Götz: