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Austrian Jews Express Confidence in Schuschnigg; Nazi Mayor Ousted

February 28, 1938
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The full confidence of Austrian Jews in Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was expressed, by Chief Rabbi Israel Taglicht in a sermon at the Vienna Central Synagogue. He asserted: “We always had and will continue to have full confidence in our Chancellor, in his open heart, fair mindedness and sincerity. That confidence was strengthened after Thursday’s declaration emphasizing that Government will stand by the Constitution of May, 1934.”

Rabbi Taglicht’s statement was made almost simultaneously with a proclamation by Cardinal Innitzer urging Austrian Catholics to give unswerving loyalty to Chancellor Schuschnigg and his program.

A strong hand against the Austrian Nazis was shown by the dismissal of Mayor Hans Schmid of Graz for raising a swastika over City Hall and expressing sympathy with Nazism. It was announced officially that Schmid had gone on leave and was not likely to return to his post. Simultaneously, Graz University and the Technical College were closed to prevent Nazi demonstration.

(The Havas News Agency reported that planes, tanks and artillery were rushed to Styria today as Austrian officials moved to curb large-scale demonstrations by Nazi groups in Graz and other Styrian towns. All military units in the Graz district were ready for action. Tension in Graz was feared near the breaking point after the Government banned a big Nazi demonstration called to protest against “Communist plotters” in the Fatherland Front.)

That Chancellor Schuschnigg is anxious not to allow Austria’s internal affairs to be handled in a one-sided manner was demonstrated by the fact that he personally addressed a conference of all police chiefs here to give instructions for preservation of law and order in Vienna and in the provinces. Although the conference was convened by Nazi Interior Minister Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Chancellor attended and instructed the police leaders in the presence of Dr. Michael Skubl, Secretary of State for Public Security, who is regarded as Dr. Schiuchnigg’s confidant.


Details of a proposed law imposing penalties for publication of reports likely to endanger relations with other countries, either purposely or through culpable neglect, were published in the Wiener Zeitung, Government organ. The measure would make offences

Enforcement of the law would be placed in the hands of Dr. Seyss-Inquart and Foreign Minister Guido Schmidt, both of whom are pro-Nazis. Offenders would not be tried by a court, but dealt with administratively by the police.

The law is expected to make more difficult publication of news concerning the internal affairs of foreign countries — such as the position of the Jews in Germany — since such news could be interpreted as likely to affect Austria’s relations with these countries, especially since the law is to be administered by two ministers known for their nationalism.

Addressing a conference of newspaper editors convened by the Federal Press Department to receive instruction on how to guide Austrian public opinion. Chancellor Schuschingg asserted it was the duty of the Austrian press to help preserve internal order and to remove the cause of conflicts. He urged the editors to guard against overstatement of local incidents disturb ng internal peace. Austria, he added, was a German country and would follow German policy, but pledges to other countries would be fulfilled.

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