Gestapo Seizes 1,000 Austrian Jews in Wave of Arrests Linked to Nuremberg Laws

An estimated 1,000 Jews have been swept into prison since Friday during a new wave of Gestapo activities linked with Tuesday’s introduction of the Nuremberg race and citizenship laws.

In most instances, no definite charges have been placed against those arrested, but there is evidence to show that “Rassenschande” (racial defilement) accusations figure in the majority of cases.

It is pointed out here that application of the Nuremberg laws to the Austrian province has been made retroactive to the date of their adoption in the Old Reich. Thus police are empowered to act in any cases where “Rassenschande” allegedly occurred during the last two years. (The Nuremberg laws went into effect in Germany on January 1, 1936.)

Among those seized are 40 Jewish doctors, including Prof. Strisower, head of the Jewish Community’s health department. It was reported without confirmation that many of those arrested will be sent to Steiermark, in the Styrian province, to rehabilitate the areas devastated by the recent floods.

The new wave of arrests, which is apparently continuing, is victimizing Jews under the age of 50. In some instances, those taken into custody have been set free at the police station when the records showed them to be over age. That in many cases the Gestapo apparently had no firm ground for activity is shown by the fact that when the men they came to arrest were obviously very old, they took into custody their sons instead. At the fifth district police station a Jewish lad of 16 who had been brought in was released when his age was established.

Most arrests occur before eight in the morning, with the police appearing at Jewish homes and demanding the head of the family. Desperate efforts of relatives to secure release or even to learn the grounds for arrest are unavailing.

Among those arrested are three Zionists, Herr Torczyner, brother of Prof. Harry Torcyner of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Engineer Muehlbauer and Herr Hager.

NEXT STORY