Between the Lines

What are the Jewish organizations in Europe and America going to do about Austria?

In no country in Europe—not even in Nazi Germany—has an anti-Semitic government ever before reached the point of cancelling Jewish citizenship. In Austria seventy-six Jews were deprived of their citizenship yesterday. Their citizenship was cancelled noiselessly and with no protest on the part of existing Jewish organizations.

Those who know of the intentions of the Austrian government are well aware of the fact that the revocation of the citizenship of these seventy-six Jews marks the beginning of a process to deprive no less than thirty thousand Jews in Austria of citizenship rights. It is only the beginning of a mapped-out plan of the Austrian government to cancel the citizenship of all those Jews who were naturalized after the war.

PROTESTS CAN HELP

Under cover of worthless assurances the Austrian government is proceeding vigorously with its anti-Semitic legislation and feels that it can get away with it, since no Jewish organization abroad has so far indulged in an open protest. Do the Jewish organizations in America intend to continue their good-will play with Austria? Are they to witness silently the annihilation of Austrian Jewry? Have they not yet been convinced that the Austrian government is tricking them with its repeated assurances? Is no Jewish protest going to be voiced against Austria’s action?

For the past hundred years, no anti-Semitic regime in Europe has dared deprive the Jews of citizenship. Not even in Czarist Russia. Not even the Germany of Hitler. No country wished to be recorded in history as having cancelled citizenship rights of a part of its population.

Austria, it seems, does not care about records of history. Anti-Jewish legislation in Austria now is worse than that in Czarist Russia—worse than that in Nazi Germany.

EFFECTIVE MEASURES REQUIRED

Unless effective measures in the form of public interest are taken by Jewish organizations in America and in England against Austria, there is ground to feel that the Austrian government will go much further with its anti-Jewish legislation than Germany did. Unless some serious move is made to hamper foreign support for Austria, the Jews in Austria will face the most dangerous situation ever witnesse by any Jewish community in any European country.

The Jews of the world cannot trust Austria any longer. They cannot take the assurances of Schuschnigg and others seriously. Now, when Austria has reached the point of disfranchising the Jews, a bitter campaign for the rights of the Jews in Austria must be started at once by the Jews outside of Austria.

Jewish organizations in America and in England should see to it that they are not held responsible for neglecting to secure protection for the rights of the Austrian Jews. The Austrian government must be told that its mistreatment of the Jews will no longer be tolerated. It must be told so plainly and effectively. And the earlier— the better.

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