Anti-semitism Appears Likely to Play Leading Role in Forthcoming Austrian Election
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Anti-semitism Appears Likely to Play Leading Role in Forthcoming Austrian Election

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No matter what the party alignments will be in the forthcoming parliamentary elections anti-Semitism appears likely to play a leading role. This is indicated from the aggressive anti-Jewish tactics of Prince Ernest von Starhemberg, leader of the Heimwehr, Austria’s unofficial nationalist army, and minister of the interior in the new Vaugion cabinet. Starhemberg’s anti-Semitism is causing anxiety among Jewish leaders here who fear that the coming campaign will be similar to the fierce campaigns of 1895 and 1896 when the notorious anti-Semite, Dr. Carl Leuger, was elected mayor of Vienna.


Addressing a Heimwehr meeting at the Wienerheldenplatz, Prince Starhemberg incited the huge crowd against “hooknosed press scribblers who are misleading the Austrian national soul.” He also announced that he would “tread under foot the Asiatic head” of Breitner, financial commissioner of Vienna. Starhemberg attacked Breitner not as a Socialist but as a Jew, although he left Judaism decades ago. Although Chancellor Vaugoin and former Chancellor Ignaz Seipel are understood to disagree with Starhemberg’s methods the Christian Socialist Party is likely to return to the old Lueger policies because of the position it has been maneuvered into by its alliance with the Heimwehr.

Signs of the way the wind is blowing are seen in the abandonment of the Heimwehr front by the Wiener Journal edited by J. Lippowitz, a converted Jew. Hitherto inclined to back the Heimwehr-government coalition if it was assured that the anti-Socialist Jews would be treated as equal citizens, the Wiener Journal has now deserted the Heimwehr. The paper points out that it is impossible for a minister to use the government’s authority properly when he engages in vilifying and threatening the Jews “who helped to create in a large measure Austrian cultural and economic life.”


The Jews themselves are watching with the greatest interest the newly formed liberal bloc headed by former Chancellor Schober. This interest is heightened by the fact that Schober is not only the chief pillar of such an avowedly anti-Semitic party as the Pan-German section of the National Socialists, but is also the leading figure of the non-political economic groups and therefore also of a large section of the non-national Jewish bourgeoisie.

Pending the completion of the liberal bloc the Zionists and the other Jewish parties are negotiating for an independent ticket or seeking means of joining in the Schober bloc.

In the meantime it is learned that Chancellor Vaugion has endeavored to influence Prince Starhemberg not to use anti-Semitic expressions as a cabinet minister. Dr. Ignaz Seipel is also supporting the Chancellor in this and it is believed that the Heimwehr leader has partly agreed. Meanwhile, in consequence of the impression created at home and abroad by Starhemberg’s Wienerheldenplatz speech, Chancellor Vaugion has authorized the newspapermen to declare that Starhemberg had assured him that the speech contained no anti-Semitic threats. Starhemberg himself, however, has not denied the published text of his address.

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