Obituary of Thomas Klestil, Austrian President
- Obituary of Thomas Klestil, Austrian President
7 Jul 2004
President of Austria dies at 71
VIENNA, Austria -- President Thomas Klestil, who brought calm to an office
frayed by controversy surrounding his predecessor's past in the Nazi army,
died Tuesday. He was 71.
Klestil, whose second six-year term in the largely ceremonial post was to
end Thursday, died shortly before midnight from multiple organ failure. He
had been taken to hospital by air on Monday after suffering heart failure.
Heinz Fischer, who won elections earlier this year, takes over the
Klestil was widely credited with restoring Austria's credibility following
revelations that predecessor Kurt Waldheim served in Germany's Nazi
Klestil distinguished himself by speaking out numerous times against
Austria's Nazi complicity during World War II, expressing sympathy for
Holocaust victims during a first-term visit to Israel.
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