Vienna Nazis Raid, Destroy Synagogues, Soup Kitchens; Food Plundered

Details of raids on three synagogues in Vienna’s Jewish quarter and the plundering of Jewish soup kitchens for the poor by a band of fifty brown-shirted Nazis who destroyed property and cut beards off aged Jews were revealed today. The Nazis smashed up the interiors of the synagogues, tore up holy Scrolls of the Law and “tefilim” (prayer phlacteries). They chased out scores of worshippers, beating up some and cutting the beards off others.

One of the synagogues and one of the soup kitchens are located in adjoining buildings on Wohlmutstrasse which belong to S. Schwartz of New York. Although a week has passed since the raid, the Wohlmutstrasse congregation is afraid to begin restoration of the ruined synagogue.

The raiders also partly destroyed a library of Hebrew books valued at 10,000 Schillings and threw out of a soup kitchen 600 Schillings worth of food, which was claimed by “Aryan” neighbors. Utensils were hurled into the street and battered. Police arrived an hour after they had been called and arrested two persons.

In the Vorgartenstrasse and Stuwestrasse synagogues, Scrolls of the Law were destroyed. A Jewish youth was forced to cut the beard off another worshipper. The hair of two Jews was cut off in a narrow strip from the forehead to the back of the neck.

The raiders reportedly declared: “Buerckel (Joseph Buerckel, Reichs Commissar for Austro-German Reunion) is not our boss. Our boss, Berlin, wants the Jews to get out.”

The destruction of the three synagogues left 20,000 Jews in the Prated district without a place or worship since the other two synagogues in the district had been requisitioned by the Nazis soon after Anschluss.

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