Austrian Heimwehr May Go Anti-semitic by Pressure from the Nationalists

The continual conferences here recently of the leaders of the Fascist Heimwehr Organization, are being watched with intense interest, because it is believed that they may result in the organization deciding to declare itself officially an anti-Semitic body and incorporating active anti-Semitism as part of its official programme. The Heimwehr leaders have been denying that the organization is anti-Jewish and have made efforts to win the support of middle-class Jews in their fight against the Social Democrats. They have failed in this, and it is thought that they intend now to appeal for the support of the anti-Semitic Nationalists, who have been urging the Heimwehr to come out openly as an anti-Jewish organization, since there seems no prospect of securing Jewish support.

At the same time it is not believed that the ex-Premier, Mgr. Seipel, who is the powerful patron of the Heimwehr, will consent to it becoming an anti-Semitic body.

Dr. Steidle, the Heimwehr leader, has several times declared that the Heimwehr is not anti-Semitic, and that it fights only against Austrian Marxism and those Jews who are in the Marxist ranks. He urged the patriotic Jews therefore to join the Heimwehr and help to fight Marxism. He accompanied the invitation with a threat, however, that if the Austrian Jews do not do this, the masses of the people, unable to distinguish between the various categories of Jews will confuse them with the Jewish leaders and adherents of Marxism, and will fight the lot.

The anti-Semitic Hitlerists have long been urging the Heimwehr to broaden out its program, by declaring itself an Aryan anti-Jewish organization.

Mgr. Seipel, who is the leader of the Christian Socialist Party, which was founded as an anti-Semitic party, has several times declared that while his Party is theoretically anti-Semitic, in practice however, it is concerned with the welfare of the entire population of the country, and during his Premiership he constantly insisted that he knew no discrimination in his treatment of any section of the population.

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