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Jdl Invades Austrian Embassy

May 9, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A group of Jewish Defense League members invaded the Austrian Embassy here this morning and traded punches with Embassy officials trying to remove a Swastika flag that the JDLers hung from the second floor balcony. The scuffle was witnessed by a Jewish Telegraphic Agency reporter from the sidewalk outside the Embassy.

According to Dr. William Perl, the Washington area chairman of the JDL, a group of seven young JDL members he led into the Embassy building was “attacked” by Embassy officials including Ambassador Karl Gruber. Police were summoned but no arrests were made, After the incident the Ambassador agreed to meet with a delegation of JDLers.

Perl said the JDL entered the Embassy to protest last Friday’s acquittal in Linz, Austria of 49-year-old Johann Gogol, a watchmaker accused of war crimes. While on the Embassy premises, two JDL members surreptitiously hung the Nazi flag and the sign from the balcony, According to Perl, Gruber personally removed the flag and tore up the sign following the scuffle. The sign read “Don’t Visit Nazi Austria.” W.Seutter, the Embassy’s administrative officer, refused to comment on the incident.

The JTA reporter stated that he saw blows traded in the conference room on the second floor of the three-story Embassy building as JDLers apparently tried to prevent Embassy officials from entering the balcony to remove the flag and the sign. The 31/2×6 foot flag hung from the balcony for 45 minutes before the Embassy staff was aware of its presence.

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