Vienna (Apr. 24)
This city, which has been under Allied occupation for nearly a year, is still a happy hunting ground for former Nazis and Nazi methods.
The extent to which this is true is indicated by the following case which was recently brought to this correspondent’s attention: Mrs. Helene Wesely is one of the few survivors of a large family, most of whom were murdered or died in Nazi concentration camps. After the liberation of Vienna she was placed in charge of a small restaurant. The restaurant belonged to a Jew who died in a concentration camp and from 1938 had been operated by Maria Huber, a member of the Nazi Party.
After great difficulty, Mrs. Wesely succeeded in reopening the restaurant, although most of the equipment had been ruined by the Huber woman before she left. For several months Mrs. Wesely operated the establishment without being molested. However, when Mrs. Huber saw that the Austrian Government was not taking action against the Nazis, she began agitating to recover control of the business. With the help of another former Nazi, Johan Lang, who had connections among Vienna city officials, a campaign of threats and intimidation has been launched against Mrs. Wesely.
At the present time, the latter is fearful that as result of the influence of the former Nazis in the city government, the restaurant will be taken from her. In desperation she has turned to the American occupation authorities, in whose zone the restaurant is located, for aid, but it is doubtful that they will intervene in a “local” situation.
That is the entire incident, but the test of whether Austria is to be made safe for Jews is what will happen to the little people like Mrs. Wesely.