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Austria Seeks “explanation” on Drive Against German Films in Israel

The Austrian Minister in Israel called today at the Foreign Ministry to request an explanation of picketing of motion picture theatres in Israel which show German-language films, most of which are made in Austria.

The Foreign Ministry pointed out that in Israel, as in any other democratic country, groups of citizens have the right to express peacefully their likes and dislikes. The Austrian diplomat was assured that the Government of Israel has no intention of banning the importation of Austrian films.

Members of organizations of former partisans and others who fought the Nazis in Europe began Sunday night picketing local cinemas showing German films. The picketing has been scheduled to last one week. Under the pressure, one motion picture house announced it will replace the German film it is showing currently with an American import. However, the motion picture owners association has issued a statement claiming that foreign currency restrictions prevent their importing and showing American films, forcing them to turn to the European market.