Movement of Jewish Dp’s in Austria to Israel Begins; Volunteers Getting Haganah Training

Displaced Jews in Austria have begun to leave this country en route to Israel, notwithstanding the fighting in Palestine and the difficulties of obtaining legal immigration facilities to the Jewish state.

The Israel-bound immigrants, moving in small groups, coupled with the movement of Jews in Austria to the West, have reduced the total number of displaced Jews in Vienna to 2,500–an all-time low. Although the number of Jews arriving here from the Balkan countries continues to remain at approximately 100 weekly, this does not to any considerable extent increase the number of Jewish refugees in Vienna.

Meanwhile, reliable reports circulating here state that more than 1,000 Jewish volunteers of military age have already left the DP camps in Austria on their way to French and Italian ports of embarkation. Although Haganah is hampered by its technically “illegal” status, Haganah recruiting officers are assembling volunteers in groups of 30 and 50 and giving them basic military training. Guards and police officials at all Jewish DP camps in Austria are gradually being replaced by older segments of the camps’ population.

Although the Israeli state has not yet been recognized officially by the Austrian Government, the Jewish Agency has opened an office in Salzburg in order to speed up the registration of displaced Jews wishing to emigrate to Israel. This was done in connection with a Jewish Agency mobilization order issued at the Agency’s headquarters in Munich promising to transfer Haganah volunteers from Germany and Austria to Israel within one month after registration. The mobilization order for Austria at present affects only the U.S zone.

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