VIENNA, JULY 29 -- Former Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky, who became a leading figure in world affairs while overseeing a 13-year era of political stability and prosperity for his small country, died today of heart ailments at age 79.
He was the longest-serving chancellor in postwar Austrian history.
A nostalgic admirer of the multinational Hapsburg empire who brought renewed prominence to its shrunken remnant, Kreisky was affectionately called "Kaiser Bruno" (Emperor Bruno) by many of his fellow Austrians.
While heading the Austrian government from 1970 to 1983, the lifelong Socialist strode the international stage as an advocate of Palestinian self-determination, European detente and North-South dialogue.
In 1979, he became the first Western leader to receive Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat, and he remained active in Middle East politics after he left office.
Kreisky played a key role in helping Austria, which was occupied by the Soviet Union, the United States, France and Britain after World War II, to regain its independence on the condition that it pledge permanent neutrality.
As a Foreign Ministry undersecretary, he was a member of the government negotiating team that flew to Moscow in 1955 to conclude the Austrian state treaty by which the occupation came to an end.
Kreisky served as foreign minister from 1959 to 1966. He resigned as chancellor on April 24, 1983, at age 72 in failing health after his Socialist Party failed to win an overall electoral majority.
During his term of office, Kreisky successfully promoted Vienna as a third center for the United Nations and an international meeting place, believing that this would help protect Austria in the event of an East-West conflict.
A mammoth U.N. center was built along the Danube River with state assistance after Kreisky argued that money for this project was better spent than that earmarked for Austria's limited armed forces.
Kreisky was born in Vienna on Jan. 22, 1911, the son of a wealthy Jewish textile merchant. But he considered himself an agnostic and consistently played down his Jewish origins.
"I will allow no one to claim me for a specific race," he once declared.
His relationship to Judaism came under scrutiny by critics, who said it had significant political implications and contributed to a national historical amnesia.
Kreisky sought to draw a line under Austria's Nazi past, and included four former Nazis in his Cabinet. He also gave unwavering support to right-wing Freedom Party leader Friedrich Peter, a former Waffen SS officer involved in liquidating civilians on the Eastern Front, as a potential coalition partner even after his wartime role came to light.
Simon Wiesenthal has alleged that under Kreisky's government there was a tacit amnesty for Nazi war criminals. It was Wiesenthal who disclosed the presence of former Nazis in Kreisky's government, drawing the chancellor's rage.
Kreisky then accused Wiesenthal's Vienna-based Documentation Center of using Mafia methods to bring perpetrators to justice, further alleging that Wiesenthal had collaborated with the Nazis while in concentration camps.
Kreisky was arrested after the 1938 Anschluss, or union between Austria and Nazi Germany. He had already been jailed in 1935 for his activities in the Social Democratic Party, which was then banned in Austria.
Later in 1938, he was able to flee to neutral Sweden, where he worked as a journalist and studied economics. There he met his Swedish wife, Vera, whom he married in 1942 and with whom he had a son and a daughter.
Kreisky returned to Austria at the war's end and entered the diplomatic service.
As a leading member of the Socialist International, he headed three of its fact-finding missions seeking a peace settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was also the only Western leader to receive Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was accorded a red-carpet welcome in Vienna and greeted with a Kreisky hug.
His stance in the Middle East was heavily attacked by Israel in 1973 when Arab terrorists commandeered a train carrying Soviet Jews into Austria to stop the country from acting as a transit station for these emigrants.
Kreisky immediately offered to close down an Austrian refugee center operated by the Jewish Agency to obtain the release of hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir came to Vienna to persuade him against the concession. Kreisky stood firm and the center was shut. Alternative transit facilities for Jewish refugees were later set up, but Israel remained greatly angered.
In 1971, Kreisky mobilized his international Socialist contacts to help Kurt Waldheim, who had served under him in the Foreign Ministry, obtain the post of U.N. secretary general, which Waldheim held for two five-year terms.
When it was revealed in 1986 that Waldheim had hidden his service in a World War II German army unit involved in war crimes, Kreisky said he had been unaware of this and accused "certain circles" of interfering in Austria's domestic politics.
Kreisky became chancellor in 1970 with a Socialist minority government. In 1971, he precipitated another general election in which his party gained a narrow three-seat majority.
He won his third straight victory in 1975, and boosted his majority to seven in his fourth success in 1979.
Austria experienced an "economic miracle" under his government, with low unemployment and inflation, and productivity growth that was the envy of many of its West European neighbors.
The Austrian system known as the "social partnership," by which organized labor, employers associations and government representatives jointly hammer out major economic decisions, and in the process avoid protracted wage and productivity disputes, flourished under Kreisky, as did a wide network of political patronage dominated by the Socialists.
MARY FRANK NASOU
Mary Frank Nasou, 60, the office manager in her husband's medical practice and a member of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, died of cardiac arrest July 25 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
Mrs. Nasou, who lived in Kensington, was born in Batavia, N.Y. She grew up in Washington. She graduated from Eastern High School and Strayer Business College, where she studied accounting.
She worked for retail businesses until about 1970, when she went to work for her husband, Dr. John P. Nasou, at his office in Silver Spring.
At her church, Mrs. Nasou was a past president of the Philoptohos Society, which is a women's group, and a member of the board of auditors.
In addition to her husband, of Kensington, survivors include two children, Eleni Paras and Peter Nasou, both of Gaithersburg; a brother, William S. Frank of Silver Spring; three sisters, Essie Bartlett, Ethel Changuris and Sophia Severino, all of Silver Spring; and two grandchildren.
LUCY E. LAIRD
Lucy E. Laird, 95, a retired telephone operator at the Labor Department in Washington, where she worked from 1944 to 1964, died of a stroke July 28 at the Valley Memorial Hospital in Livermore, Calif.
Mrs. Laird, a resident of Livermore, was born in Athens, Ala. She lived in Washington from 1944 to 1964 and then moved to California for three years. She returned here and was a desk clerk at an apartment bulding in Arlington until moving to California permanently about 1970.
Her husband, James Stanley Laird, died in 1933.
Survivors include a daughter, Lady C. Stief of Livermore; two sisters, Ethel Warren of Hayward, Calif., and Rose Holmes of Athens; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
PETER P. DEVANEY
Peter P. Devaney, 83, a former director of transportation research at Georgetown University who later worked for the Office of Civil Defense, died of congestive heart failure July 28 at Doctors' Hospital in Lanham.
Mr. Devaney was born in New York City. A resident of Bowie, he had lived in the Washington area since 1941. He went to work as a transportation specialist for the old War Department when he came here, and during World War II, helped organize transportation for returning wounded soldiers.
In 1948, he began his career at Georgetown University. As head of transportation research, he was responsible for contract intelligence analysis for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Army Transportation Corps and other agencies.
In 1963, he returned to the federal government as an official of the Office of Civil Defense, where he specialized in transportation. He retired in 1972.
Mr. Devaney was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Bowie.
His wife of 53 years, Alice Dorothy Duffy Devaney, died in 1981. A son, Peter P. Devaney III, died in 1987.
Survivors include two sons, Bernard T. Devaney of Bowie and Dennis M. Devaney of Columbia; two sisters, Catherine Devaney of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., and Nora Moore of Englewood, N.J.; and 12 grandchildren.