Series on Jews in Austria Condemned by Press Council

The Austrian Press Council has sharply condemned the series, “Jews in Austria,” by the Viennese mass daily, “Kronenzeitung.” The Council asserted that the series would stir up more anti-Semitic feelings in Austria and “is apt to activate potential anti-Semitism,” The series could also create the impression that anti-Semitism is characteristic for Austria’s population. It said. The Press Council also condemned the publication of “inciting” letters to the editor.

The Council acted on a protest by the Jewish community in Vienna. A Jewish spokesmen had said that the Jewish population in Austria was defenseless against the newspaper’s biased reporting. The series, which started on Palm Sunday, was written by Victor Reimann, a former Nazi and co-founder of a right-wing party. Reimann noted, among other things. “One of the main causes for anti-Semitism is to be found in the Jews themselves,” adding, “It is because of his (the Jew’s) will to be different and to be separated from non-Jewish people.”

The “Kronenzeitung,” anticipating the adverse judgement denounced the Press Council as an instrument of the “united enemies of this newspaper.” Members of the Press Council are the Viennese mass daily “Kurier.” the “Arbeiterzeitung” (Socialist), the “Volksstimme” (Communist) and the “Wochenpresse (Conservative). A Socialist youth organization asked the Austrian television network for a fair reporting on this subject, and termed the series a “dangerous and poor work encouraging the revival of anti-Semitism in Austria.

The Minister of Justice, Christian Broda, said the series contained countless mistakes. “I am horrified,” he said, adding that he did not speak as minister but was expressing his private opinion. Editors of Austria’s state-run radio and TV called the series “irresponsible.” A Socialist women’s organization urged that the publication of the series be stopped. However, Broda said there are no legal grounds to stop the series.

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