Vienna (Jul. 22)
Dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Austrian Government is handling the question of restoration of Jewish property was expressed here today by David Brill, president of the Vienna Jewish Community in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
His statement points out that the Austrian Republic, although in existence for more than a year, has done nothing to make good the damages suffered by the Jewish population. “It is true that the Jews hear friendly words quite often, but the words are not followed by deeds.”
Regretting the fact that “the Jewish question still exists in Austria,” Mr. Brill said: “We Austrian Jews painfully and bitterly realize that the equality of all citizens exists on paper only. The particular position we were thrown into by Nazi arbitrariness will not be eliminated as long as the results are not eliminated. Austria is the sole state of Europe which has done nothing until now to wipe out this burning shame.”
One of the reasons for this situation, Mr. Brill said, is the fact that “precisely in those ministries which have to settle the question of restitution, there still are people again brooding evil toward the Jews.” He pointed out that Hofrat (Court Councillor) Riobol, who was a high official under the Nazis, heading the Department of Jewish Property for Vienna and Lower Austria, still occupies a leading position in the Ministry for Property Custody. “Thus, the same man who administered stolen Jewish property during the whole period of the violent Nazi rule, holds a similar position in Austria today,” he declared.
“In the light of such conditions the mood of Jewry is desperate,” Mr. Brill continued. “They have been waiting for the restoration of justice in vain. It must be understood that we do not want any pity. We demand our rights. We demand the final liberation from the horrible results of Nazi rule. As long as this is not done, Austria is not entitled to count herself among the truly democratic countries.”