British Jews Organize Actions
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British Jews Organize Actions

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The Board of Deputies of British Jews sent a telegram today to Chancellor Bruno Kreisky expressing dismay over the decision by the Austrian government and announcing that a delegation of Board members will call tomorrow on the Austrian Ambassador here to express its protest. The telegram, signed by Sir Samuel Fisher, Board president, Alderman Michael Fidler, MP, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Abraham Marks, Board secretary, stated:

“We cannot believe that your government intends to deprive people who are on their way to freedom of their basic human requirements. The Board earnestly requests you and your government to reconsider the decision and to retract statements made under the threat of bloodshed.” A copy of this telegram was sent to British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home asking him to use his office to influence the Austrian government to retract its decision to close the Schoenau transit center for Soviet Jewish migrants.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, cabled Kreisky expressing astonishment and deep regret over the decision and noted that providing assistance to migrants and refugees “is one of the most elementary humanitarian duties.” He declared: “World Jewry earnestly hopes that Austria will reconsider her decision, taken under duress, and therefore not binding, and continue to offer Soviet Jewish migrants the humanitarian services and facilities offered them hitherto.”


Dr. Maurice Miller, Labor MP for Kelingrove, Glasgow, and vice-chairman of the Anglo-Austrian Society, sent a strongly worded message to the Austrian Ambassador here in which he stated that “to agree to the conditions laid down by such despicable creatures (the Arab terrorists) is to make a bargain with the devil himself.”

Continuing, Dr. Miller declared: “I associate myself completely with my Jewish colleagues in the United Kingdom and Israel in their protests against the Austrian government’s action, and can only hope that since the bargain was struck under the severest duress, your government would not consider it dishonorable in the slightest to make clear to the world that she has no intention of being held to these terms.”

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