The call which the Jewish leaders in Austria issued yesterday “to the world and to all governments,” stating that the Austrian Jews will never resign their citizenship rights voluntarily, must be taken as a signal that the Jewish position in Austria has reached the point of gravest danger.
This call is the S. O. S. of Austrian Jewry. It has been issued by the three leading figures of the Jewish community. The people who issued it and who constitute the presidium of the Jewish community of Vienna, have more than once been accused of not being brave enough to fight openly for Jewish rights in their country.
Now even they have raised their voices. Not only do they no longer hesitate to declare that they “demand living room for Austrian Jewry,” but they go even further. They address themselves to the world and to all governments.
This urgent call for help must be picked up by the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the B’nai B’rith, the Joint Consultative Council and every other existing Jewish organization interested in the fate of Austrian Jewry. Immediate rescue must be organized.
It may be true that international treaties are in our present time merely scraps of paper. It is however, reasonable to think that the Austrian government in its present situation could not afford to ignore the national minority provisions imposed upon her by the Saint-Germain treaty, if existing Jewish organizations would see to it that the League of Nations institute an inquiry as to how the Saint-Germain treaty is being carried out in Austria.
The case of Austria’s mistreatment of its Jewish population must come up before the League of Nations. There is sufficient ground for bringing this case up before the League. The equal rights for national minorities, stipulated by the Saint-Germain treaty, have been sufficiently violated by the Austrian government.
Simultaneously with taking up this case in Geneva, something must be done by organizations in America to make the Austrian government feel that the Jews have no more patience with Austria. Immediate action is the crying need of the hour.