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New Austria Curb

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The day after the Executive of the American Jewish Congress made a special trip to Washington to intervene with the Austrian Minister there for the Jewish rights in Austria, the Austrian government came out with a new decree aimed to oust Jewish journalists from the Austrian press.

The decree issued requires that each publisher and editor must state his religion before he can obtain a permit from the government to continue his work. This decree is nothing but an imitation of a similar order issued last year by Goebbels in Germany. Under the best circumstances it can be interpreted as nothing else but a measure to curb the free press and to put Jewish editors and publishers under a special control.

The anxiety reported from Vienna in connection with this decree therefore has its justifications. The Jewish newspapermen in Austria still have fresh before their eyes the decree issued by Goebbels which led to the elimination of all Jewish journalists from the general press in Germany.

History repeats itself. What took place in 1933 in Germany is now taking place in Austria. The process of eliminating the Jews from public life in Austria, though carried out less openly and more diplomatically than in Germany, is nothing but an imitation of Germany’s way of ousting Jews from their professions and from public life.

About 1,200 Jewish journalists lost their positions on German newspapers as a result of Goebbels’ decree last year. Nobody can tell how many Jewish journalists will lose their positions in Austria as a result of the new decree issued by the Schuschnigg regime. It is, however, clear that the “Aryan paragraph” is now being silently introduced in Austria in full force and in every branch of economic life.

One wonders, therefore, whether the sending of a delegation to the Austrian Minister in Washington is an insufficiently strong measure. The anti-Jewish developments in Austria are reaching the point where stronger measures must be taken. The new press decree is the best proof of this.

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