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Austrian Jews Return from Theresienstadt to Vienna; Jewish Population Reaches 8,000

August 2, 1945
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

With the arrival here today of 360 Jews from the Theresienstadt concentration camp, the Jewish population of Vienna, which once numbered 180,000, totals slightly more than 8,000. Of these, about 6,000 are married to non-Jews and 1,300 returned in recent weeks form camps.

A JTA correspondent who witnessed the arrival of the Theresienstadt victims today was struck by the fact that they were mainly middle-aged and elderly. There were no children among them. One of the arrivals told the correspondent that the Nazis had given high priority to the extermination of all Jewish children up to the age of fourteen.

Despite the fact that half of them were ill, the 360 laughed and chattered like children when they reached the Vienna railroad station. They called greetings to the few fellow-Viennese who were on hand to greet them.

Everyone questioned said that they wanted to emigrate from Europe, where their wives and children and husbands had been killed and where they themselves had suffered horrors which they find impossible to describe. They want to go Palestine, Australia, Africa, England, America, anywhere off this continent.

Although their citizenship rights have been restored, these Jews have heard tales of mistreatment and anti-Semitism in Poland, Slovkia and elsewhere, and they do not wish to entrust their future to Europe. They pleadingly expressed the hope that somebody would help them flee.

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