VIENNA (Mar. 22)
Austria’s Nazi regime took measures today to bar Jews from public high schools at the end of this year, and meanwhile prepared to segregate Jewish students in “ghetto benches.”
Suicides continued, with 112 Jewish funerals held yesterday. Many of the funerals were delayed, so the 112 may not represent a single day’s deaths. Among the latest to take their lives was Herr Gans, owner of a chain of 25 dry goods stores.
Continuing a series of arrests, Nazi police seized Prof. Ferdinand Blumenthal, 68-year-old Jewish scientist, as a fugitive from Germany. Prof. Blumenthal, who had been in Austria four months, was formerly director of the Institute for Cancer Research in Berlin.
Meanwhile, Austria’s shattered Jewish leadership turned to the task of finding bread for at least 60,000 destitute Jews, as neighboring countries closed their borders to refugees and pressure for emigration to Australia increased.
The warning that this would be the last year of public instruction for most Jews was given yesterday when Jewish students, barred from celebrations, assembled in the school yards and were addressed by the principals and brown-uniformed “teachers of confidence” assigned to the schools to supervise the welfare of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler youth organization).
Rumors of important developments had brought 200 Jewish parents to one school, who stood by during the speeches. The principals spoke briefly, many with evident distaste for their task, announcing that Jewish students had lost all rights under the new regime and expressing the hope that they would concentrate harder on their studies. Weeping Jewish parents rushed to the principal to thank him for his sympathy.
The Brown Shirts announced that Jewish students would be permitted to “visit” high schools for the remainder of the year, when a revision will be held, probably along Reich lines so that only children of Jewish war veterans will be permitted to remain in the schools.
For the present, separate Jewish classes, where they exist, will be continued. In other schools, where Jews mingled with “Aryans,” the “ghetto benches” will be established in the classrooms.
Two hundred girls were ousted today from the Manual Training School of the Krugerheim Home for Jewish Working Girls when the school was taken over as sleeping quarters for storm troopers.
The British Consul is being besieged by Jews seeking visas for Australia. Brown Shirts assembled near the consulate, picking up youths leaving the building and telling them: “There is time enough to go to Australia; meanwhile come along and wash a few streets.”
A Jewish liquor shop owner in Gumpendorferstrasse was forced to display a sign in his window giving the address of the nearest “Aryan” shop.
With all Jewish agencies closed, except for a hospital, homes for the aged and three soup kitchens able to feed a total of 1,000 daily, thousands of Jews were forced to subsist on what their relatives and neighbors could spare.
In most cases Jews have been deprived of the cards necessary for participation in Austrian winter relief. With German soldiers, storm troopers and police still barring the Jewish Community offices and other welfare agencies, with Jewish funds confiscated or blocked, the Jews must inevitably seek help abroad.
A cursory review of border conditions yielded grim results. Czechoslovakia, generous in the first days of Austria’s Nazi regime, is now closing her doors. Italy is giving transit visas only to Poland. Yugoslavia and Hungary have closed their gates to refugees.
Relatives of Dr. Desider Friedmann, arrested president of the Austrian Zionist Organization, denied reports published abroad that he had committed suicide.
Prof. Blumenthal, who was arrested today, was born in Berlin in 1870. As Professor at Berlin University from 1905 and as director of the Cancer Research Institute from 1915, his research enlarged the knowledge of cancer from the chemical and biological points of view.