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Press Spurs Rift in Austrian Jewry

The government press came out into the open yesterday as backers of the current campaign to split the Jewish community of Austria. The campaign, launched with the intention of weakening the resistance of Austrian Jewry to the government’s anti-Jewish policies, is being particularly directed against the Jewish community of this city, which is presenting a united front against the Schuschnigg brand of anti-Semitism.

Yesterday’s issue of the Reichspost government organ, published a memorandum to the government purportedly by the most extreme faction of Orthodox Jewry, which is centered about the Schiff Synagogue.

THIN SCREEN ON STAND

This memorandum was characterized by the Reichspost as indicative of the rebellion against “the neologian Jewish majority.” Publication of the note is considered a thin screen thrown up by the Reichspost to camouflage its own anti-Jewish tendency.

The Schiff Synagogue memorandum is being used to disguise the bigotry of the Reichspost contention that it is interested in the protection of true adherents of the Jewish faith, and, to this end, is advocating the separation of the Orthodox group from the rest of the Jewish community.

In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dr. Desider Friedmann, president of the Vienna Jewish community, expressed amazement that the Reichspost had obtained the memorandum before the Jewish community itself.

Dr. Friedmann pointed out, however, that existing laws would prevent fulfillment of the alleged desire of the Schiff Synagogue faction for separation from the rest of the community. Furthermore, Dr. Friedmann declared, he doubted whether the government would change the laws affecting the property owned by the group so that a separation could be arranged.

Meanwhile, anti-Jewish agitation by the press is being continued ruthlessly. Mass meetings by the anti-Semitic Bund are being held frequently, without hindrance by the authorities.

The indifferent attitude of the government toward these overt anti-Semitic rallies is creating unfavorable comment in financial circles in view of the government’s recent announcement that foreign loans were being converted.

Adding to the uneasiness felt by the Jewish population here is the mushroom growth of the new Nazi press, coinciding with the sudden outspokenly pro-Hitler attitude of the government press.

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