Vienna (Oct. 24)
The organization of a Jewish branch of the Heimwehr, Austria’s nationalist private militia which is headed by Prince Ernest von Starhemberg, minister of the interior has created a sensation throughout Austria. The Heimwehr leaders and the rank and file of its members are largely anti-Semitic.
Chancellor Vaugoin, in receiving Leo Berger, president of the Jewish section of the Heimwehr, praised the organization for its patriotism and expressed the hope that Austrian Jews will lend full support to the government in its endeavors to obtain foreign credits and in its fight against unemployment. The Jewish section of the Heimwehr has made public plans for a mass meeting to be held under its auspices to organize Austrian Jewry to fight the Social Democrats who are opposed by the Jewish and Christian Heimwehrs.
Meanwhile the clash between the Christian Socialist and National Socialist elements in the Heimwehr is growing because of the National Socialists’ affiliation with Adolf Hitler. Austrian Catholics were warned today against Hitlerism in a pastoral letter from church officials.
The National Socialists and Christian Socialists in the Heimwehr are also at odds over whether Jews who have been converted to Christianity should still be considered as Jews or whether they should be regarded as “one-hundred per cent German Christians.” The National Socialists argue that once a Jew always a Jew, while the Christian Socialists are willing to accept the converts.