The catastrophic situation in Austria, both financial and economic and the swift development of Hitlerism in this Catholic country, have in themselves created stronger propaganda for Palestine. For the first time one finds Zionist sentiment bound up with economic interests and with the search for a quiet oasis in a land where a Jew may reside without fronting anti-Semitic insults and attacks.
The thought of rescuing oneself and one’s children through settlement in Palestine has recently penetrated Jewish circles which for a long time have been regarded as fully assimilationist in both a political and cultural sense. Hitlerism has overtaken them in the midst of their preparations to record themselves either as “Confessionless” or “Converts” to Christianity, and aroused them from their empty dream to a realization of the stern reality. Acknowledgment of Zionist progress is guarded but they would willingly escape as quickly as possible to Palestine.
The middle class in particular is keenly interested in settlement possibilities in Palestine. Those who still possess some reserve carefully reckon that this reserve will be eaten up within two or three years if they do not speedily escape from this land where there are no hopes for an economic revival. The general economic catastrophic situation in Austria weekly makes sharper inroads in the Jewish economic position because of the intensive Nazi boycott propaganda against the Jews.
The boycott is practically a fait accomli in the provinces, but it is only now beginning to be strongly felt in Vienna. The Hitlerist party is succeeding in increasing its profitable contracts with Aryan firms who wrest the Christian German customer from Jewish business places.
It is becoming a common occurrence for Jewish salesmen, even if they be representatives of non-Jewish firms, to be thrown out of the houses of non-Jews. These incidents have even been brought to the notices of the law courts. These occurrences give food for thought even to outspoken assimilationists and anti-Zionists.
As a result Palestine is looming large as a political and economic reality. True they are still ashamed to openly acknowledge the bankruptcy of assimilationist hopes and aspirations, but in private conversation they are ready to admit that Zionism and Palestine constitute succor not only for “the poor persecuted East European Jews”, but also for the only recently satisfied, secure, fortunate former western Jews.
Unquestionably an influential bearing