From June 23, 1990, it was a squatted social centre, which hosted migrants and refugees, community activities, and political groups. Since 7 November 2008 all the groups using the place are now under lease and it is no longer a squatted social centre.
The squatters, who describe the EKH as an "international, multi-cultural, anti-fascist centre", named the building after Ernst Kirchweger; a former concentration camp inmate and member of the anti-fascist resistance, who was killed in 1965 by a right-wing protester during a demonstration against Taras Borodajkewycz, a former member of the NSDAP.
In 2003, the owner of the house—the Communist Party of Austria—sold the EKH to a real estate company, and the residents were threatened with eviction (see the summary of protests and actions at Indymedia). After a long struggle, a company with close contacts to the municipality of Vienna bought the building in July 2005, and the threat of eviction seems to have passed.
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