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Discuss Heimwehr’s Statement on Antisemitism

March 29, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The declaration made by Dr. Steidle, leader of the Austrian Fascist Heimwehr Organization, that the Heimwehr is not an anti-Semitic body was the subject of lively comment both in Jewish circles here and in the general Austrian press.

The “Wiener Journal” printed the views expressed on the question by several leading Jews. All of them voiced their gratification that the Heimwehr has in this way officially renounced anti-Semitism, but they object to Dr. Steidle’s division of the Jewish population into two sections, the old-established and what he calls the “destructive immigrant Jews.” Wolf Pappenheim, one of the leaders of the Agudath Israel Organization, wrote that Conservative Jews are always loyal to the State, irrespective of whether they have been long settled in the country, or are recent immigrants.

Dr. Desider Friedman, one of the Austrian Zionist leaders, wrote: “Every citizen has a right to choose his own political party, and neither national virtues, nor national defects are due to whether one lives in a country for a long time or only for a short time. Anti-Semitism derives from the tendency to make all Jews responsible for the misdeeds of certain Jews, and this is what Dr. Steidle, too, is doing. The Jews condemn incitement of one section of the population against the other, whether it comes from Right or Left.”

Dr. Fritz Loehner, President of the Hakoah, said that he hopes that when all the non-Socialist parties have officially renounced anti-Semitism, the Jews will leave the ranks of the Marxist Party, because Marxism is ruining the Jews in three directions, economically, nationally and religiously. It is only because of the anti-Semitism which has prevailed in the other Austrian parties, he said, that large numbers of Vienna Jews have been driven into the arms of Austrian Marxism.

The “Abend,” Socialist paper here, insisted, however, “that Dr. Steidle’s renunciation of anti-Semitism was only a tactical move to attract wealthy Jews, because he needs their money for the development of the Heimwehr. Whatever he may say,” the paper wrote, “the deeds of the Heimwehr tell another story, and everyone who goes to Heimwehr meetings and marches will always hear them abusing Jews.”

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