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2,000 Jam U.S. Consulate at Vienna, Seek Visas. Food; Rothschild Freed

March 27, 1938
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More than 2,000 persons, half of them Jews, crowded the American Consulate today seeking visas or food and financial help under the misapprehension that charity funds were available there. Hundreds came in the belief that The United States was prepared to admit and to pay the passage of 20,000 immigrants. Consular authorities addressed groups of applicants, explaining the real situation.

The secret police released from custody Baron Louis De Rothschild, one of the first prominent Jews to be seized after Austro-German Anschluss. Paris reports of release of Dr. Heinrich Neumann, noted physician who twice treated the Duke of Windsor when he was British monarch, were confirmed. (The duke was reported to have interceded with Chancellor Adolf Hitler for both the Baron and Dr. Neumann.) It is not considered probable, however, that either will be permitted to leave Austria.

The slow task of rebuilding the shattered Austrian Jewish community commenced today with a conference among a number of Jewish organizational leaders and secret police Officials, summoned at behest of the police.

The Jewish leaders were instructed to prepare written reports on the activities of the organizations they represented, for study by the police.

Meanwhile, continued closure of the Austro-German border to Jews was blocking attempts by Jewish leaders in the Reich to come together with their 200,000 brethren in Austria. Several prominent German Jews, including Dr. Heinrich Stahl, president of the Berlin Jewish Community, and Dr. Alfred Klee, its vice-president, are unable to come to Vienna until border restrictions have been removed.

Meanwhile, the first official recognition of the desperate plight of Austria’s Jews came today when Herr Valberg, Nazi Commissioner for the Austrian theatre Guild, authorized a Jewish theatrical group to launch a campaign in behalf of Jewish actors. It is estimated that at least 3,000 need immediate help.

The authorities have permitted the taking of preliminary steps for a benefit performance and for the possible establishment of a theatre similar to the Jewish Culture League “ghetto theatre” in Germany.

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