JDC Austrian Director Reports Condition of Viennese Jews “is Terrible”

The condition of the Jews in Vienna, particularly in relation to the food situation, “is terrible,” Benson Saks, Joint Distribution Committee director for Austria, reported in an interview here.

Pointing out that it was necessary in recent months to care for 20,000 to 25,000 people, including 5,000 transients monthly, Saks said that the JDC and the American Red Cross were the only organizations providing food and clothing to Viennese Jews. He asserted that the tuberculosis rate among Jews was “very high.”

Reporting on conditions in the displaced persons camps in the American and British zones in Austria, Sake stated that several American camps were good enough to be considered model camps, and that conditions in general were improving in all camps. Three camps in the British zone, he added, are also in “fairly good condition.” The JDC, Saks said, is supplementing Army rations in three transient camps.

He pointed out that the JDC was cooperating with the Vienna Jewish Community Council in various ways, including financial assistance to homes and institutions maintained by the community. Of the 4,000 Jews in Vienna, 40 percent are over the age of 60, while 45 percent are over 45, Saks said.

NEXT STORY