VIENNA (Jun. 1)
Behind a curtain of astonishing ignorance which led to widely conflicting rumors, the inexplicable campaign of arrests of Jews by the Gestapo (German secret police) continued in its sixth day today. The city as a whole is unaware that since Friday several thousand Jews were spirited away. The local press has not published a word about it.
The news of the shipping of several hundred Jews to the Dachau concentration camp, near Munich, on Monday spread rapidly among the Jews. All day hundreds of Jewish women flocked to the Rossau-Erlaende central police station seeking information about relatives.
An officer told one after another: “Your man is not here,” refusing further information. At noon a superior official loudly announced: “Everybody arrested from Friday to Sunday has been sent to Dachau, so there is no use in your hanging around.” The announcement was greeted with wails and sobs.
Although one transport of prisoners has already gone to Dachau, a second one was expected to leave shortly, possibly tonight. The rumor persisted that some of the prisoners would be sent to labor camps in flood-stricken Styria. Wives of the arrested Jews clung desperately to this rumor as a last hope for their husbands.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the police did not spare any class of persons in the round-up, raking in intellectuals, small shopkeepers, clerks and even jobless.
The writer talked with the wife of a bookshop owner who had been imprisoned for 14 months under the regime of ex-Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg for possession of Social Democratic literature. “Now he is in prison again,” she cried, “but he has no bookshop and had no work. We are living on charity.”
Most of the victims of the wave of arrests are simple people, not connected with politics or Jewish affairs, men between the ages of fifteen and fifty. It was reported that thirty prisoners were unexpectedly released from the Karajongasse jail, most of them above fifty years of age or having documents showing they have the possibility of emigrating soon. Their places were soon filled by new victims.
Prof. Strisower, head of the Vienna Jewish Community’s health department, who was arrested last weekend, was released today.
DIES OF “HEART ATTACK” EN ROUTE TO DACHAU
Officials today notified friends of Dr. Paul Schott, 46 years old, well known Jewish dentist who was arrested at his home last Friday morning, that he had died suddenly Monday night on a train en route to Dachau.
The train was presumably the “Dachau special,” carrying 600 Jews arrested since last Friday to the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. Officials declared his death was from “heart attack.” His friends said he had been in good health before his arrest.
As far as is known no definite charge was lodged against Dr. Schott when he was picked up Friday. It is known that he was held for 24 hours in the district police station near his home, and that by Saturday noon he was removed to the Karajongasse jail. On Monday a friend sought to intervene in his behalf, pointing out that many “Aryan” patients were suffering because of Dr. Schott’s absence. It was reported that the friend was immediately arrested.
Dr. Schott’s sole surviving relative is his mother, 63 years old, who is ill and has not been informed of her son’s death. Dr. Schott served in the World War as a first lieutenant and was awarded three decorations for bravery.