Something must be done, and done effectively, to alleviate the anxiety now prevailing among the Jews in Austria in connection with the negotiations progressing between the Austrian Cabinet and the Nazis.
Austrian government spokesmen, including Chancellor Schuschnigg, are trying to deny the existence of anti-Semitism in Austria. But paralleling their pacifying statements, are reports from Austria showing that the Jewish situation there is gradually becoming as dangerous as in Nazi Germany.
Discrimination is growing against the Jews in the civil and municipal services, in banks, in hospitals, in public teaching institutions of all grades. Wherever economic circumstances can be made an excuse for dismissal, Jewish employees are the first to suffer.
What is the Austrian government going to do about these unmistakable anti-Jewish discriminations? Why are there no ameliorative results to the representations made to the government, accompanied by statistics which cannot be impugned?
During a recent visit to Vienna, Mr. Neville Laski, president of the Board of Jewish Deputies, indicated to the Austrian Foreign Minister that the Jewish communities in America and in England were not likely to rest content with mere protestations of just treatment and that they required tangible evidence in that regard.
This evidence has not been forthcoming. On the contrary. Discriminations against the Jews have grown worse since Mr. Laski’s visit. A ghetto for Jewish children has been introduced. Dismissals of Jewish employees have not decreased but have increased.
Now comes the news that Jewish equality rights in Austria are threatened because of concessions the Austrian government is ready to make to the Nazis.
The welfare of Austria depends to a large extent on the good feeling of America and Great Britain. Is it not to Austria’s advantage that these good feelings should not be jeopardized by the government’s toleration or encouragement of anti-Semitism?