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Austrians Strip 76 of Citizens’ Rights

Seventy-six naturalized Austrian Jewish citizens lost their citizenship today, when the Austrian government ordered the revocation of their papers.

This is the first time that the long-standing threats to cancel the citizenship papers of Jews naturalized after the World War have actually been carried out. Orders making them citizens were approved by the Vienna Diet prior to the Fascist assumption of power.

TO AFFECT 30,000

The government move, which was not unexpected in view of Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg’s known desire to deprive post-war naturalized Jews of at least part of their rights, is expected to effect at least 30,000 Jews who became citizens of Austria after 1919.

It also means in effect that henceforth no Jew may become an Austrian citizen.

The Supreme Court was asked by government officials to nullify the seventy-six acts of naturalization despite the fact that many of those affected will become stateless. Applicants for citizenship automatically renounced citizenship in the countries from which they came when they avowed their intention of becoming Austrian citizens. They relied on identification documents issued them by Austria.

CAME AFTER EMPIRE FELL

Jews affected by the latest anti-Semitic drive of the Austrian government settled in the country after the dissolution of the Austrian Empire, coming mainly from Galicia, Bukovina and northern Hungary.

On Monday, leading Jewish organizations in Vienna learned from reliable sources that Chancellor Schuschnigg was planning to deprive post-war naturalized Jewish citizens of some of their political rights, particularly the right to hold state and federal jobs and also to hold office.

Thousands of Jewish professionals, teachers, lawyers, doctors and dentists will lose their means of a livelihood if the plan is carried out. The drive against the naturalized Jewish citizens has been carried on for some time by the pro-government parties, including the Heimwehr, the Catholic storm troops and the Christian Socialist party. These groups have demanded the wholesale revocation of citizenship rights acquired by Jews after 1919.

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