That anti-Semitism in Austria has never assumed violent proportions was the contention of Mgr. Ignaz K. Seipel, ex-chancellor of the Austrian Republic, who arrived in New York on his way to the Encharistic Congress in Chicago, in an interview with the representative of the “Jewish Daily Bulletin.”
“The Christlich Soziale party,” of which Mgr. Seipel is the leader, “and the pan-Germans are the two anti-Semitic parties in Austria. Our anti-Semitism is directed against the Jew who does not wish to be known as such rather than the Jew who admits he is a Jew. In fact, we were glad when the Jews elected their own representative, Engineer Stricker, to the Austrian parliament. However, in the last election, many of the Jewish votes were cast for the Socialist deputies, Jews who are on the opposition benches in Parliament. Seeing the Jewish vote go to the Socialists does not, naturally, create a favorable impression in our party,” he declared.
Asked whether it was not true that the Jewish citizens of Austria find themselves during the elections, “between the devil and the deep sea,” being unable to vote for parties which openly declare their animosity to the Jewish population, Mr. Seipel admitted that this is the fact.
“The anti-Semitic movement in Austria is influenced by proximity of Hungary with its numerus clausus and other violent anti-Semitic tendencies. But the Austrian population is peaceful and except for occasional noise, there is nothing serious in the anti-semitic movement in Austria.
“We are sympathetic toward the Zionist movement and its attempt to restore the Jewish state in Palestine. We hope that as the Zionists succeed and, as soon as a Jewish state will actually come inot being, the Jewish question will find that solution and clarification which is in the interest of everybody. This does not mean that we would like all Jews to go to Palestine, but, just as many Germans and Austrians live in the United States and other countries as citizens of those countries, so will the Jews, after the Jewish state is established in Palestine be able to live as citizens of other states,” Mgr. Seipel declared.
“I was very pleased to learn that Dr. Koerner and his Hakoah had such great success in America. The Jews lately are achieving much in the field of sports,” Mgr. Seipel concluded.