VIENNA (Aug. 1)
Fear that the conflict in Korea may develop into a war between the western democracies and the Soviet satellite countries and convert Austria into a battlefield has prompted more than 2,000 Jewish refugees here to register during the past month for immediate emigration. About 1,000 applied for emigration to Israel and the remainder are seeking entry into other countries.
This was revealed here today by Mordecal Yoffe, director of the Immigration Office for Israel in Austria. There are approximately 12,000 Jewish refugees today in Austria, a half of this number living outside refugee camps. During the last two years more than 22,000 Jewish refugees emigrated from Austria to Israel.
A recent survey made by the Israel Immigration Office here established that one-fourth of the 12,000 Jewish refugees in Austria intend to leave for Israel, the remainder having registered for emigration to the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries where they have relatives. A small but constant influx of Jewish refugees from East European countries into Austria is still noticeable.
The Jewish refugee camps in the British and French zones of Austria have practically been liquidated, but there are still 4,350 Jews in the refugee camps in the U.S. zone and about 1,300 in camps in Vienna. In his statement today Mr. Yoffe praised the role played by the Joint Distribution Committee and the International Refugee Organization in organizing aid and transportation for the Jewish refugees. He emphasized that the major part of the cost of transportation and maintenance of the refugees was covered by the J.D.C.
The shrinking number of Jewish refugees resulted in the closing this week of the Linz headquarters of the Israel Immigration Office. The Linz office was the fourth closed in Austria since the beginning of the year since the number of Jewish refugees continued to decrease.