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Austrian Jewish Leaders Protest Against Charges Made by Interior Minister

Austrian Jewish leaders today lodged a formal protest against charges made yesterday by Interior Minister Oskar Helmer that displaced persons in Austria using funds allegedly derived from black market operations have been purchasing arms and sending them to Israel under the protection of Soviet occupation authorities.

Following a meeting of all Austrian Jewish organizations, including the Zionist Federation of Austria, a delegation went to the office of the Interior Minister to protest against the “insinuation, whose obvious anti-Semite tendency is causing alarm among the Jewish population in Austria.”

Leaders of the Austrian Jewish community asserted today that no Jewish group in the country had purchased arms to be smuggled into Israel. Israeli representative’ to Austria Kurt Lewin is expected to arrive here shortly to confer with Halmer on the entire situation.