Two days before his 70th birthday Lutz Holzinger died in the night to 12 February. During the last three years Lutz has been co-editor of the English issue of the transform! journal.
Lutz was the prototype of the Communist journalist in the best sense of the word; always up to date, a man of vast reading, with a wide range of interests and considerate in his judgement. For 40 years he had been a member of the Communist Party of Austria, yet as a journalist always remained faithful to his independence. He worked for many media belonging to and associated with the party and was always ready to help when an article needed to be written. Yet, his range of action reached far beyond that. His contributions can be also found in trade unionist newspapers and many other progressive media such as Uhudla. The series which he co-authored for Augustin with Clemens Staudinger about the Raiffeisen Corporation, which was published as a book last year, became legendary.
Lutz was born at Wels in 1944, studied literature in Vienna and graduated with a PhD. He came to Volksstimme via ORF, the Austrian broadcasting corporation, and New Forum and was a member of the paper’s editorial staff since 1975. He headed many portfolios and was promoted to deputy editor-in-chief. When he was chief editor he had to reorganize the daily paper into a weekly which was published for two years under the name of Salto. For several years until his retirement Lutz was working for the journal Auto und Wirtschaft.
Lutz’s first book, “Der produzierte Mangel – Warenästhetik und kapitalistisches Krisenmanagement” (The Produced Shortage – Commodity Aesthetics and Capitalist Crisis Management), was published in 1973. In 1994, he published his “Weißbuch Schwarzgeld” (White Paper – Illegal Earnings), in which he dealt with the practices of financial jugglers before the background of campaigns run in the tabloids against “social spongers”.
In 2010, the book “Das Gespenst der Armut“ (The Spectre of Poverty) was published, in which he gets even with the anti-social logic of neoliberal economic policies and their administration of poverty.
As a literary scientist and communist Lutz Holzinger was in charge of and with a comprehensive essay contributed to the Jura Soyfer Anthology published in the GDR in 1976. It was the first time that the novel “So starb eine Partei” was published in print. Thus Lutz had a major share in the Jura Soyfer Renaissance mounting in those years.
Lutz was a founding member of the Working Group of Austrian ‘Literature Producers’, where also famous writers such as Elfriede Jelinek, Michael Scharang and Peter Turrini started their carers. Lutz was also a member of the Grazer Autor_innenversammlung and wrote a book about Adalbert Stifter and his work.
Lutz Holzinger, the sportsman, was an enthusiastic handball-player and a mainstay of the Volksstimme football team. He was a precautious, supportive and selfless colleague and comrade who also would not refrain from taking on those “above”. Thus he was a model for several generations of progressive and Communist journalists.
In Lutz, we have lost a good friend. In this hard moment all our compassion and sympathies go to his wife Elisabeth, to his children and the entire family.