Protest Opening of New Transit Camp

The village council of Woellersdorf protested today against the Austrian government’s decision to set up an aid station for Soviet Jews in this tiny town in lower Austria, a council spokesman said. According to Otto Mayr, secretary of Woellersdorf village council, the local authorities have sent six telegrams protesting the decision, because “the aid station will be a security risk for our population.”

The Austrian government announced Monday that the special transit camp for Soviet Jews emigrating to Israel at Schoenau Castle will be closed down and an aid station will be set up at Woellersdorf, 40 kilometers south of Vienna. According to a government spokesman the new camp will serve only emigrants who need rest and medical help. Chancellor Bruno Kreisky had promised to close Schoenau in exchange for the release of four hostages, including three Soviet Jews, seized by Arab terrorists Sept. 28 at the Austro-Czechoslovak border station.

The aid station will be located in former, army barracks on the outskirts of the village. Close to the three-story building is the main highway that runs south from Vienna. Mayr said the proximity to the highway makes it a high security risk and an easy target for an attack.

“What applied to Schoenau also applies to Woellersdorf,” he said today, a reference to Kreisky’s argument that Schoenau had to be closed because the transit camp was a major risk and in constant danger of an attack by Arab terrorists. Although no specific date has been announced so far, a Ministry of Defense spokesman said Monday the barracks are scheduled to be given to the Red Cross section of lower Austria this Saturday.

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