In recent weeks the little-known singer Hyäne Fischer has been the subject of various articles in Austria. On November 26 she posted a music video titled “Im Rausche der Zeit” (In Inebriation of Time) and suggested that she would represent Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Israel. Since then the video has clocked more than 160,000 views on YouTube and people have been busy trying to wrap their heads around it.
But who exactly is Hyäne Fischer and why did she so blatantly channel the look of Eva Braun — the longtime companion of the world’s most infamous Nazi Adolf Hitler?
Mountain scenes from the Austrian Alps, a hut in dark timber and four young women dressed in traditional Austrian costumes — all covered in an early 20th century aesthetic. What sounds like an excerpt of a Third-Empire documentary about the life of Eva Braun are actually sequences of Hyäne Fischer’s music video “Im Rausche der Zeit”.
Dubbed by some as “Eva Braun’s class reunion at the Obersalzberg”, it’s drawn endless comments about its overt connection to the 1930s.
It isn’t an endorsement of Eva Braun or the far-right in Germany. In fact, it’s been interpreted as quite the opposite: a smack down of the far-right movement in Austria’s government. Music Journalist Natalie Brunner has said the song criticizes the normalization of the far-right movement taking place in Europe. That’s led commentators to assume that the video is the work of “Hysteria” — a satirical feminist project that satirises and mocks far-right rituals.
So what does Hyäne Fischer have to do with all this? Well, the first name “Hyäne” is the German word for “Hyena”, which happens to be the emblematic animal on Hysteria’s flag. Coincidence? Hmmm. Hysteria denies to have anything to do with the music video.
Hyäne Fisher’s manager Marlene Engel says: “The video might allow a false conclusion about the 1930s but the video is about four emancipated women who celebrate together and who do not replicate the image of women from the 1930s.”
Hyäne Fischer has not given a statement about the real meaning of the music video. But Eberhard Forcher, a member of the Austrian selection committee, has made it clear that the video is just “cleverly staged hype” and that Hyäne Fischer is not the country’s Eurovision act. At the time of filming his response, ORF still had a few weeks to decide.
We don’t know who Austria’s Eurovision 2019 singer is. But one thing we do know is that Hyäne Fischer already knows how to attract attention.