Unprecedented Boycott Drive Sweeps Vienna; Jews Beaten, Forced to Picket
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Unprecedented Boycott Drive Sweeps Vienna; Jews Beaten, Forced to Picket

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Austria’s 200,000 Jews were plunged into panic tonight as a Nazi anti-Semitic boycott and demonstrations gained momentum, with Jews frequently drafted as pickets or kicked and beaten for entering Jewish shops.

The circumstances surrounding the boycott, no less than the thorough manner in which it was carried out, alarmed the Jews, who recalled that Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s so-called “Easter peace” ends tomorrow. With the last of the German police gone since friday and all but a few German troops scheduled to leave soon, Jews expected to find Austria in the coming week more completely in the hands of rabid Austrian anti-Semites than at any time since Anschluss.

While no mention of the boycott appeared in today’s newspaper, editorials pointedly referred to the necessity of infusing “fresh spirit” into the anti-Jewish drive.


The Vienna edition of Chancellor Hitler’s Voelkischer Beobachter warned: “With the Easter peace over, Jewish agitators must look forward to meeting in person that typically German personage who dons evening dress when the time comes to wield the axe.” (German executioners wear evening dress for beheadings.)

The Wiener Neuste Nachrichten asserted that the Jewish question had to be solved fully. “In this field, there is no such thing as merely partial success,” the Nazi newspaper declared.

Several Jewish cafes were closed after Nazi Party officials discovered “aryan” patrons in them. At least six cafes were closed in the Mariahilfer Strasse neighborhood, and huge signs, “Jude” (“Jew”) were painted on the windows. In one case, the proprietress was forced to paint the sign.

An “Aryan” Catholic found patronizing a Jewish cafe was forced to parade in the streets carrying the sign: “I am an Aryan swine who bought from Jews.”

Elsewhere jeering crowds gathered before cafes and watched the ousting of “Aryan” patrons. The prominent Ebner’s Cafe, closed last night when storm troopers found two patrons wearing swastikas in it, remained closed today. At other cafes, pickets turned away foreign “Aryans” as well as Austrians.


Regarding yesterday’s demonstrations opening the boycott drive, nothing like them has ever been since either here or in Berlin, although similarities could be observed in small provincial towns. The anti-Jewish boycott in Berlin launched April 1, 1933 was officially proclaimed in advance by the Wilhelmstrasse and officially and legally carried out, but here pickets sprang up like mushrooms, apparently from nowhere, without warning and without published authorization.

This does not mean that the large-scale picketing was not carefully planned in advance. The majority of the pickets were provided with an identical circular and red rimmed white placards bearing the words, “Aryans Do Not Buy from Jews,” Attached to long handles. Many pickets placed the signs directly across shop entrances while they lolled at ease in chairs on the sidewalk.

Not many persons, Jews not excepted, attempted to pass these frail barriers. Some Jews who did were punched and kicked from behind when, after identifying themselves as “non-Aryans,” they started to enter the shops.


Vienna’s Chief Rabbi, Dr. Israel Taglicht, returning from synagogue Sabbath services, was forced to picket two Jewish firms. For a quarter of an hour Rabbi Taglicht stood before a small Jewish shop on the Praterstrasse holding a placard. Then his captors transferred him to busy continental cafe. Soon a Jewish patron emerged and volunteered to take the chief Rabbi’s place, which was permitted.

In many cases Jewish owners were called out of their establishments and forced to hold pickets signs before their own doors.

Bands of youths barred the doors of hundreds of Jewish shops throughout Vienna. In the Jewish quarters several persons, one of them an old woman, were marched through the streets carrying sandwich signs reading, “This Swine Bought from a Jew,” and “Stupid, Vulgar People Still buy from Jews.”

Throughout the Jewish quarter 30 to 40 pickets per block was not an uncommon sight. In the second district, pickets were mostly civilian-dressed youths wearing swastika armlets. In the first district, the pickets were fourteen and fifteen years and older, wearing uniforms of the Hitler youth organization.

The picketing began first and continued longest in the Jewish quarters. Jews had already closed their shops when the pickets reached the outlying districts in the late afternoon.

It is safe to say that Jews did less business yesterday than even in the first few days of “the peaceful revolution.” Nazis selected Saturday afternoon, when factories are closed and most Viennese workers do the bulk of their shopping.

For a few days before yesterday’s opening of the boycott drive sporadic picketing attempts had occurred in scattered parts of the city. Yesterday morning the number of pickets was greatly increased and by afternoon they formed an effective barrier through the largely-Jewish leopoldstadt quarter and the fourth, fifth, tenth and eleventh districts.

The demonstrations aroused the populace to a peak of anti-Jewish feeling unmatched since the first flush of the Nazi Anschluss victory. Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, Jews walking in leopoldstadt streets, heard the cry, “Jude! Jude!” shouted after them.


The extra-legal boycott was accompanied by legal measures against Jews. All Jewish apothecaries must decide whether to sell or lease their businesses to “Aryans,” according to official notification sent to them by the Nazi commissar for apothecaries. About 85 establishments are affected by this new purge.

The ministry of education decreed that Jewish students will be limited to two percent of the student bodies of Austrian universities, effective the coming semester. Only Austrian Jews, not foreigners, fall under this numerous clauses. Students must address petitions for admission to the executive boards of the schools, and each one will be decided upon individually.

The town of lackenbach, in the east Austrian province of Burgenland, where an expulsion drive against Jews has been in progress, prepared today to hang out the white flag, emblematic of complete expulsion of Jews, as the last 35 Jewish families the town. Some were understood to have taken refuge in Vienna. It is reported that 17 Burgenland Jews forced to cross the hungarian frontier by Nazis have been returned to Austria by the hungarian border guards.


Forty Jewish orphans and poor children ranging in age from six months to 14 year have been expelled from the Tuerkenschanze Kinderheim, a Jewish children’s home, by order of the Nazi party, it was learned today. The remaining 30 Jewish youngsters in the home must leave by monday.

The children already ousted have been installed in the infirmary of a nearby Jewish orphanage. Their clothes were removed and returned to the Kinderheim for use of its future “Aryan” inmates, by order of the Nazi commissar for orphanages.

The Kinderheim was founded and maintained by Jews, although the building it occupied rent-free is owned by the city. When expropriated, the home sheltered 70 Jewish and 36 “Aryan” children.

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