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Stern Countries Hit Charges That Jews Are Fleeing to Austria to Escape Pogroms

The Austrian Government has received indications that can expect protests from Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia as a result of statement by Minister of the Interior Oskar Hellmer that Jews were fleeing those antries in fear of pogroms.

Hellmer’s statement was made in connection with the incident on the Austrian ##ngarian border where a group of Jews seeking to reach DP camps in the western zones are shuttled back and forth across the frontier for four days when Soviet occupation authorities refused to allow them to proceed. The Austrian Government has submitted report on the incident to American military authorities here.The Red Army newspaper in Austria, Der Oestreichische Zeitung, today carries statement prepared by the Austrian Jewish News, many of whose staff members are Commists, declaring that officials of the Bulgarian, Rumanian, Hungarian and Yugoslav commissions in Austria have denied that there have been any progroms in their countries, ?ding that they were unaware of any large-scale flight of Jews from those nations to the west. The Communist Party newspaper, Volkstimme, attacks Hellmer for his “wrong statements.”

The Socialist Party organ, Arbeiterzeitung, however, publishes a lengthy report of the border incident and also an interview with a Rumanian Jewish refugee, who ##serted that there was increasing fear among Rumanian Jews. Similar statements were ##ecured by Austrian border guards. The refugees said that although the Rumanian Government seeks to guarantee equality for the Jews, anti-Semitic propaganda is still ##idespread and anti-Jewish incidents have occurred in Jassy, Baku and other parts of ##nldavia. Agitators used the famine in that district to whip up sentiment against the Jews.One Rumanian refugee, Moische Rosenbaum, to whom this correspondent spoke, also reported that in recent weeks there have been incidents in Baku and Jassy. He also asserted that in the villages of Moinesci and Targu Frumos Rumanians accused Jews of hiding food and other provisions, and broke into the Jews’ houses, beating the occupants. All of the refugees questioned declared that they fled in fear of violence. They added that they did not wish to remain in Austria, but wanted to settle in Palestine.

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