Menu JTA Search

Between the Lines

Download PDF for this date

Is monarchy good for Jews?

This question is now being asked in two European countries: Austria and Greece.

In Austria, where the Jews fear the eventual coming of the Nazis to power, the restoration of the Hapsburg monarchy and the bringing of Archduke Otto to Vienna is looked upon with favor in some Jewish circles. It is believed that with the proclamation of Archduke Otto as Emperor of Austria, the Jewish position there may be more secure than it is now.

Similar is the situation in Greece where the movement of restoring a monarchy there is considered a realistic possibility. Though the Jewish population in Greece has no reason to complain against the present Tsaldarist regime which is very friendly toward the Jews, no one can predict what the future holds in store for Greek Jewry as long as there is no political stability in the country. Only a monarchy can save Greece from repeated civil wars and thus forever establish safety for the Jews, numerous Jewish leaders in Greece believe.


There are today thousands of Jews in Austria who still remember the regime of the Emperor Franz Joseph, who was known for his friendliness toward the Jews. In the event of restoration of the Hapsburg dynasty in Austria, many Jews believe that the pro-Jewish tradition of Franz Joseph would be revived by his successors.

With Austria what it is today and with the constant fear of a turn which may hand over the administration of the country to Nazis, the Jewish population would rather see the return of Archduke Otto to the throne than eventual control by Hitler. With Otto ruling Austria, the Italian influence over the young Austrian Emperor will no doubt be greater than that of Nazi Germany. The Jews in Austria have, therefore, nothing to lose if monarchy is restored there.


In Greece the Jews will also lose little if the king is returned to power. The present regime, which is not anti-Jewish, is silently sponsoring the idea of bringing the king back to Athens. The one who opposed this idea was Venizelos. The Venizelist party has turned out to be definitely anti-Semitic, just as it is anti-monarchistic. Under a monarchy it will definitely not be permitted to grow. Hence the anti-Semitic movement in Greece will be checked if the king returns to the throne.

Officially the Jewish leaders of both Austria and Greece are refraining from an express of opinion on the advancing monarchist movements in these countries. The issue is too serious and too complicated and it is, therefore, logical that the Jews in these countries should abstain from committing themselves to any definite opinion. The situation, however, in these two countries—especially in Austria—is quite clear. It cannot get any worse under a monarch than it is today under the Cabinet of Dr. Schuschnigg. The promises made by Dr. Schuschnigg with regard to normal treatment of Jews in Austria are not at all being kept. Perhaps a Hapsburg will keep his.

The earliest extant manuscript of the Torah, of which only fragments have been preserved, was written in the fifth century.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund