Buerckel Acts Against Nazi Commissars in Austria; 12 Arrested for Misusing Jews’ Funds

Joseph Buerckel, Reich Commissioner for Austria, has issued a decree ousting all Nazi commissars who took control of Jewish firms after Anschluss, many of them self-appointed. Twelve commissars have been arrested for misusing funds of Jewish firms. Buerckel offered rewards of 50 marks (nominally $20) to persons giving information leading to the conviction of persons making false denunciations of others, and announced that all cases involving arrest or confiscation of property will be reviewed to determine whether the action taken was justified.

“The moment has come when we must clean up definitively,” Buerckel declared in a Speech to Styrian Political Leaders at Graz. “There must be no formation here of a new professional Group For Which There Cannot be occupation for any length of time in the ordered Economic Life. Some of these Commissioners Confused ‘mine’ and ‘thine’. Since This Morning A Dozen Of These commissioners, Mostly from Vienna, have made their debut at Dachau concentration camp. The revolution is entering a new phase. The early slackness must give way to self-conscious discipline. He who goes Beyond the law can expect my intervention with all the necessary rigor. I will Not Back down Before any person, even if that person occupies a position in The State or party. To Commit an Injustice is To Harm Nazi Prestige.”

Touching on the broader Jewish question, Buerckel declared that those Jews who were imprisoned suffered not as Jews but as enemies of the State. No Jews have had their fortunes confiscated, he claimed, although the property of certain “enemies of the State” has been sequestered. “If it so happens that these enemies of the State are Jews we can do nothing,” he added.

A decree signed by Buerckel and Statthalter Arthur von Seyss-Inquart ordered All business commissioners to resign before August I and to make an accounting of their activities before August 15. Herr Rafelsberger, State Commissioner for Economy, was delegated to appoint new men and fix their salaries.

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