Not Quiet in Vienna: Jewish Quarter in State of Siege Bec Ause of “all Quiet” Performances: Three Th
Menu JTA Search

Not Quiet in Vienna: Jewish Quarter in State of Siege Bec Ause of “all Quiet” Performances: Three Th

Download PDF for this date

The Jewish quarter of Vienna was in a state of siege to-day because of the performance of the “All Quiet” talkie in the Apollo Cinema, situated there, the Social Democrats having rejected the suggestion made by the authorities that since the Socialist Mayor of Vienna, Herr Seitz, insists on its production, despite the threats of the Hitlerists, it should be transferred to one of the more purely Labour districts where the organised workers could themselves provide the forces necessary to maintain order. It is understood that to-morrow the film will, however, be transferred to one of the Labour districts, since the police complain that the expense of providing sufficient forces to keep the peace is more than the Police Department can afford, and intend otherwise to use the power given them by the Government to prohibit further performances.

About three thousand police, mounted and on foot, were mobilised in the Jewish quarter to-day heavily armed to repulse demonstrators. All Jewish shops, even in the streets outside the ghetto, but adjoining it, were closed and barricaded. All Jewish meetings which had been arranged for to-day were called off, and altogether there were more police about in the streets than civilians, who feared to venture out lest they were molested. Traffic was stopped, even the tramway service being suspended, and the roads leading into the Jewish quarter from the bridges over the Danube, were out off. Apart from the demonstrators and the police, Vienna as a whole was a deserted city. The Hitlerists tried repeatedly to break through the police cordons and invade the Jewish district. Just before midnight, additional police reinforcements were called out, because it was feared that the Hitlerists might attempt a rush at the time the audience would be leaving the cinema after the final performance (there were several performances, beginning at five o’clock in the afternoon). Arrangements had been made by means of strict control over the sale of the tickets, which were not available for the general public, but were distributed privately through various societies, to prevent Hitlerists or others opposed to the film, obtaining admission to the cinema.

Despite all the precautions taken, several serious clashes occurred between the police and the Hitlerists, who were joined by members of the Heimwehr organisation. The demonstrators threw fire-works under the legs of the horses of the mounted police when they charged, and one or two shots were fired. The police were compelled to use their rubber cudgels to disperse the mob. In a number of places outside the immediate protected are a the windows of several deserted cafes and of some of the big shops were smashed.

About thirty arrests were made and a number of demonstrators were injured.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund