Four centuries ago, the Gates of Vienna became a symbol of the defense of Western Civilization when the Polish king Jan Sobieski came with his 23,000 troops to help stave off the advancing Ottoman Empire.
Vienna once again was at the center of civilizational conflict when Austria was seized by Adolf Hitler in 1938 and then, after the defeat of the Nazi empire, a sector of the city and the country’s eastern region were occupied by the Soviet Union.
After the war, with Austria teetering between a future of communist tyranny and Western democracy, it was a Catholic priest of Slavic heritage who began leading public prayer processions, asking God to save the nation. By 1955, when the Soviet Union pulled out of Austria, the processions drew as many as half-a-million Austrians, about one-tenth the country’s population.
Alexander Tschugguel, a devout Catholic activist, believes Austria is once again at the center of a civilizational moment. His country is poised to become the first in the world to make being unvaccinated illegal, punishable by fines and potentially a jail sentence.
In a video interview with WND from Vienna, he tells how the post-World War II priest, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, has inspired the current effort to resist COVID-19 measures he believes have implications much bigger than the pandemic and far beyond the borders of his nation.
Austrians, in 250 cities, again are proceeding through the streets of their cities in prayer in a movement called Austria Prays. And it’s spread to Germany and Northern Italy as well.
Tschugguel, 28, is the founder of the Vienna-based St. Boniface Institute, a non-profit that addresses issues such as abortion and marriage with the belief that “humanity can only be saved through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.”
He believes Austrians are being used as “lab rats” for the Western world, noting the “terrible idea of a vaccine mandate” is now being copied by Germany despite the admission that the vaccines don’t prevent infection and transmission, and the evidence that the vaccinated are equally susceptible to hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
He discussed the impending law, to be implemented Feb. 1, which punishes the unvaccinated with fines of up to 3,600 Euros — about $4,000 — at a time. Under a separate law, anyone who resists vaccination can be jailed for up to a year.
If such laws are tolerated, Tschugguel warned, the next logical steps are that, among other things, unvaccinated parents could lose their children
Noting that one-third of population of Austria is what he described as “vax-free,” he observed that small countries often serve as models for other countries that can say, “Look they did it, we can do it as well.”
He pointed to the European Union’s digital “green passport” verifying vaccine status, which effectively serves as a “surveillance system” that allows the government to “scan everyone.”
In May 2020, a consultant of then-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the Financial Times that nations must get used to tools that are “on the borderline of the democratic working model.”
Tschugguel argues that if something is on the border, it can be “on either side.”
“This thing,” he said of the universal vaccine mandate, “is definitely on the other side. It is definitely not in our democratic model.”
Significantly, the chancellor’s consultant, Antonella Mei-Pochtler, told the Financial Times that the government won’t need to do the enforcing, contending the people “will want to control themselves.”
“So, what the government said,” Tschugguel commented, “is we are going to create an atmosphere which pushes the people so that they go along and be their own secret service for each other.”
It’s “step-by-step Machiavelli,” he said, of the “plan to create social pressure.”
He cited the example of Austrian restaurants being fined $30,000 euros (about $34,000) if they don’t police their customers and remove anyone who is unvaccinated.
‘God saved us’
But the “resistance is huge” among the Austrian populace, he said, like nothing that has been seen in the lifetime of his parents.
He recounted the many times over the past two centuries that Austria has faced oppression or a threat to its existence, from the Gates of Vienna, to the Napoleonic era, to the Nazi occupation to the threat of communism.
“Always what brought us to a solution to the problems was prayer,” he said, asking God, “Please save us, we need your help now.
“And what happened? God saved us.”
And it’s no different now, he said, as typically reserved Austrians fill streets across their nation.
“Faith is what keeps people fighting,” he said. “If you go to our demonstrations, hundreds of thousands of people there. You see signs with Bible quotes.”
But going forward, the Austrian activist said, “those people need to understand that if you follow Christ, Christ expects that you are ready for a sacrifice.”
“You don’t have to bring the sacrifice he brought. That’s impossible. But he gives you your little cross to carry.”
At the moment, he continued, it’s a matter of sacrificing one’s reputation or money.
“But we have to be ready,” he said. “Who knows? If we don’t stop this movement, in the future we will have to sacrifice our lives — our public lives at the beginning, so that we live underground, and maybe then our physical lives.
In any case, he said, “God prepares us as always, and he shows us and he helps us.”
“And I believe that whatever is going to happen in the next weeks and months, at the end of the time you will see good people coming out of this, you will see saints coming out of this … you will see a strong and good and working society come out of this,” said Tschugguel.
He invited Americans to engage by writing to the U.S. ambassador in Austria and expressing concern about what is happening in the Central European nation and its implications for the Western world and beyond.
“We need the pressure from everywhere,” he said. “The Austrian government has to understand that this is really wrong.”
See the WND interview:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last year, America’s doctors, nurses and paramedics were celebrated as frontline heroes battling a fearsome new pandemic. Today, under Joe Biden, tens of thousands of these same heroes are denounced as rebels, conspiracy theorists, extremists and potential terrorists. Along with massive numbers of police, firemen, Border Patrol agents, Navy SEALs, pilots, air-traffic controllers, and countless other truly essential Americans, they’re all considered so dangerous as to merit termination, their professional and personal lives turned upside down due to their decision not to be injected with the experimental COVID vaccines. Biden’s tyrannical mandate threatens to cripple American society – from law enforcement to airlines to commercial supply chains to hospitals. It’s already happening. But the good news is that huge numbers of “yesterday’s heroes” are now fighting back – bravely and boldly. The whole epic showdown is laid out as never before in the sensational October issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION: ‘We will not comply!’ COVID-19 power grab ignites bold new era of national defiance.”
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