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Jews in Austria Protest Against Bill Affecting Jewish Emigrants

The board of the Austrian Jewish Communities has protested to Chancellor Julius Raab, Vice Chancellor Adolf Schaerf and leaders of the two parties comprising Austria’s coalition government, against a draft measure submitted to Parliament by the government which would deprive a number of Austrian Jews who emigrated from Austria of social security benefits.

The draft would provide that social security benefits due persons who fled Austria after the Nazi “anschluss” would be cancelled if at any time between September 5, 1951 and December 31, 1953 they spent more than three months in Austria. While the government recognizes the right of refugees from Nazism to social security benefits due them as Austrians it asserts in this measure that if they returned for a period longer than three months they “could” have remained in Austria and therefore are not refugees but normal emigrants who have therefore surrendered their social security rights.

The Jewish community pointed out that most of the sufferers under this new provision would be Jews who returned to Austria for a period either to visit relatives or to attempt to obtain property, restitution or other rights due them and who remained for longer than three months on this business. Also, tourists who were Austrian refugees would be stripped of their rights if they remained in Austria on a visit that lasted longer than the prescribed period.

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