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Austrian Government Organ Defends Recent Nazi Amnesty Laws

An indication that the Austrian Government has not dropped its intention of pushing Nazi amnesty legislation through the Allied Council was given today by the “Wiener Zeitung,” official newspaper of the Austrian Government, which defended government espousal of the legislation as justified.

It advanced the following reasons for adoption of the legislation: 1. That there is no official Nazi movement remaining in Austria and that there is no tendency in Austria toward neo-Nazi activity; 2. That Parliament in voting for the legislation expressed the will of the Austrian people; 3. That the policy expressed in the laws is in general accord with the international trend toward “moderation and peace.”

On the other hand, “Der Geistig Schaffende,” organ of the Catholic People’s Party, largest in the government coalition, publishes an article complaining that under the amnesty legislation, which was vetoed once by the Allied Council, the victims of the Nazis will be forced to fight for equal rights with former Nazi members.

The publication charges that former members of the Austrian civil service ousted by the Nazis who have been restored to government jobs suffered loss of rank, being given the position they would have held by 1945. The Nazi members of the civil service, the article underlines, have continued to achieve promotions based on seniority and have actually moved far ahead of their victims.

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