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 described 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 2004, 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 since the new owner was a former right wing extremist.
After a long struggle with many protests and actions a company with close contacts to the municipality of Vienna bought the building in July 2005. The threat of eviction passed and in 2008, a rental contract was signed.
- Foltin, Robert (2014). "Squatting and Autonomous Action in Vienna 1976-2012". In Katzeff, Ask; van Hoogenhuijze, Leendert; van der Steen, Bart (eds.). The City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present. PM Press. ISBN 1604866837.
- "Summary of protests and actions in support for the EKH (english)". Indymedia. Austria. 2005-03-22. Retrieved 2019-04-03.