State Department Timidity and Arab Threats
All the talk about Congressional anger over unending Arab insults
to the United States appears to be hopeless anticipation of a change in
policy that will prevent those who benefit the most from the aid we
extend to them from biting the hands that feed them. We provide
food to the U.A.R. and it is used to satisfy not the impoverished
Egyptian masses but the Soviets, in exchange for the vast stores
of USSR ammunition that are being supplied to arm Nasser's army.
Now we are told that the American ambassador to Israel, Wal-
worth Barbour, had gone to Beirut to alert other American ambas-
sadors he had met with in Beirut about an alleged Israeli nuclear
weapons development! The State Department was little concerned
about much that was happening in the Middle East to affect Israel's
status, but has kept harping on the reported nuclear buildup. It
is doubtful whether there is anything secretive about the Israeli
scientific developments, but the recurring talk about nuclear weapons
in Israel's hands serve merely to antagonize the Arabs, to inflame
them and to play two forces against each other.
Instead of insisting upon the elevation of the standards of the
oppressed Arab masses, with the aid that comes from us, we have
been a party to instigating hatred and we have not prevented the
diversion of aid to enemy sources. On this score, Senators Gruening,
Javits, Hickenlooper, Morse and others are justified in expressing
resentment over State Department policies.
During the Kosygin visit in Cairo, there was a constant flow of
words maligning the United States. Israel was a target, but the U.S.
was a major object of scorn. Yet the State Department's reply was
that the situation was being "studied"! Any elementary school pupil
could recognize the animosity toward the supplier of food for the
Egyptian masses by their dictator who misrepresents their interests.
There is no doubt that on his visit in the Middle East last week
Kosygin aimed to encourage the Arab states to become closely allied
with the Communist bloc and to recognize East Germany. Yet there is
Insistence in Washington that the Arab spokesmen are serving the
purposes of the democratic elements — a claim that often emerges
Israel's Prime Minister Levi Eshkol has made it quite clear that
his country will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the
Middle East, yet the threats from Arabs persist, and Senatorial action
has been inspired to force Israel to international inspection of its
arsenals as a condition for U.S. aid in nuclear desalting. While there is
an added measure of military assistance provided Israel through the
sale by the U. S. of a small number of tactical jet bombers, the latter
gesture apparently is a result of forced recognition of imbalance, of the
overwhelming Arab military arsenals as compared with Israel's arms
For several months now many newspaper headlines referred
to the anti-U.S. attacks by Nasser, the weapons problem, the food
shortages in Arab countries. Intermingled are the reverberating
echoes of political rifts among the Arabs. These news accounts
do not indicate a happy status for the Arabs peoples. They point
to discord, sufferings and poverty, yet the trend is towards war
against Israel rather than serious efforts to establish accord and
thereby to create better conditions for the Arab masses.
The intent of these comments is not to aggravate the situation
but to plead anew for amity and to encourage the best relations
between Israel and the Moslem states, between Arabs and Jews. May
that day come soon, in the interest of peace and to assure the better-
ment of the status of the suffering Arab peoples.
The Extent of Austrian Anti Semitism
A televised program, "An Austrian Affair," fell far short of the
mark in exposing the true nature of the Austrian rightists movements
which have revised the worst elements in Nazism.
The program did show how the Austrians almost to a person con-
curred with the Hitler program, welcomed the Nazi leader, turned
the country over to him. There was an introductory period during
which the Socialist Party attempted to introduce a democratic system
in the country. It seems to have failed.
What that program also emphasized is that Austria now is a
tourists' paradise and that the new prosperity may have contributed
to a revival of arrogance.
But the actual spread of anti-Semitism was not fully developed
in the program, and it is important, since so many Jews are contributing
to the tourists' paradise, that the facts should be known.
There were numerous negotiations with Austrian officials in the
past few months in an effort to stem the tide of recurring Nazism.
It could not have been too successful, judging by what had happened
during the trial of the Mauer brothers, when there were anti-Jewish
demonstrations in the courtroom, and at other events when the Nazis
displayed their hatreds. In an analysis of the Austrian situation
written by F. L. Brasloff for World Affairs, the London periodical
of the World Jewish Congress, the following details are given under
the heading "Austrian Justice on Trial":
The Austrians, excelling in charm and "Gemuetlichkeit," have
a remarkably unsatisfactory record of political morality. Their
willing acceptance of National-Socialism belied the common
notion that Austria fell an innocent victim to Nazi aggression.
About one fourth of her population belonged to one or another
Nazi organization; Austrians played a disproportionately large
part in the systematic spoliation and extermination of Jews and
other "lesser races." Although the re-established Austrian
Republic undertook in the State Treaty of 15th May, 1955, to
eliminate from Austrian political and cultural life all traces of
Nazism, her now prosperous citizens show little inclination to live
up to this obligation. Their evasive and lackadaisical attitude
compares unfavorably with the efforts of their German neighbors
to come to grips with the criminal Nazi past and to prevent the
re-emergence of a dangerously extremist nationalism.
The series of scandalous manifestations of ill will and neglect
is disturbing. In the spring of last year, Herr Taras Borodaj-
kewycz, a professor at the Vienna University College for
Commerce, caused a major 'uproar by making anti-Semitic state-
ments at a Press conference. The professor had already been
active in the Nazi underground movement before the "Anschluss"
and had served after the war as a research worker in the Soviet
intelligence service. He got his academic appointment thanks
to his connections with the "national wing" of the conservative
People's Party. Notwithstanding his strictly non-teutonic extrac-
tion, he has been propagating the thesis of the "German char-
. . . .
Austria Rewards Neo-Nazis, Con-
dones Revived Anti - Semitism;
U.S. Keeps Getting UAR Insults
acter" of Austria and has made it his speciality to ridicule the
BY MILTON FRIEDMAN
concept of an Austrian nation. His provocative statements gave
(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)
rise to serious clashes between neo-Nazis shouting such slogans
WASHINGTON — Despite vi-
as "Heil Auschwitz" and their opponents in the course of which sions of a "Great Society," anti-
an elderly member of the Austrian resistance movement was killed Semitism may infect America to
by a "right-extremist" student with a criminal record who was a greater degree than is realized.
sentenced to a few months imprisonment only. Parliament and
This conclusion was
Government then became alarmed at the danger arising from in papers submitted at the indicated
militant Nazism and seemed prepared to take effective counter- Conference of Jewish Communal _
measures. Disciplinary action against the professor was initiated; Service.
he went on paid leave and the case is still "under consideration,"
One penetrating analysis
It is understandable that the authorities in charge of the submitted by Mrs. Ann G. Wolfe, -
prosecution of Nazi criminals take the political and moral climate who is president of the Association
of the country into account and are reluctant to bring perpetrators of Jewish Community Relations
of such crime to justice. The Statute of Limitations for the Workers and program consultant
prosecution of major crimes was abolished by law last year. But of the American Jewish Commit-
only fifteen war crimes trials have been held in Austria since tee. The other came from Oscar
1960, some of them with highly unsatisfactory results. The head Cohen, program director of the
of the Nazi administration of the notorious Vilna Ghetto, whose Anti-Defamation League of Bnai
population was almost completely annihilated, was acquitted. Brith.
National surveys cited by Mrs.
Eichmann's chief aide in the deportation of Hungarian Jews
got only a short prison sentence for the offense of "having Wolfe revealed that about half of
endangered human life." A leading member of the SS machinery the American people agree with
who had ordered the transfer of Dutch Jews to certain death, the following statements: "Jews
got equally lenient treatment. The recent acquittal of Jan stick together too much; Jews are
Verbelen by a Vienna jury caused great misgivings, particularly more willing than others to use
in Belgium, whose Government protested at this glaring miscar- shady practices; Jewish business-
riage of justice. Verbelen had led the murder squad of the men are shrewd and tricky; Jews
Flemish SS during the German occupation of Belgium and had are loud and have many irritating
been engaged in organizing the killing of his fellow-citizens who characteristics."
Mrs. Wolfe noted that "three-
were suspected of being connected with the partisans. He escaped
Belgian justice after the war; found employment in Austria quarters of the American people
in the American intelligence service; seems to have been helpful hold some combination of these
to the Austrian State Police; was rewarded with the nationality unfavorable stereotypes about
of his country of refuge which ignored that he was on the list of Jews." On the other hand, she
war criminals sentenced to death in Belgium and failed to notice pointed out, only about 10 per cent
think "Hitler was right in what he
his continued participation in neo-Nazi activities.
did" and that there should be
In addition, however, to the scandalous failure of Austrian housing and employment discrimi-
justice another major Nazi crimes trial recently took place in nation against Jews.
the beautiful city of Salzburg. In the dock were two brothers,
She reported "there are evi-
Johann and Wilhelm Mauer, both employees of welfare agencies dences of suppression of dissent,
under the auspices of the Protestant Church and accordingly but Jewish community relations
respectable citizens like many other "Volksdeutsche" from the agencies seem to be reluctant to
East whose past record may not bear investigation. The Mauer identify with this issue. There is
brothers had been soldiers in the Polish Army who enlisted after wide difference of opinion on the
its defeat in an auxiliary unit of the Gestapo. Their role in the part of professionals in the field
murderous "solution of the Jewish question" in Nazi-occupied as to whether the agencies do, in-
Poland, came to light in the course of an investigation by the deed, have a role to play."
German authorities against another culprit. They were indicted
In Mrs. Wolfe's view, "the agen-
on a number of counts, including the participation in a mass cies have a responsibility in this
"liquidation," in which about 12,000 Jews had been killed as well field, in much the same way as
as in individual acts of wanton killing and of brutal torture. some of them undertook programs
From the testimonies of survivors, now living in the United in this area during the McCarthy
States and in Israel, who had come to Salzburg, emerged the period. Increasingly, however, one
gruesome picture of a mercilessly functioning murder machinery sees a sense of embarrassment in
among whose eager and vicious operators were the Mauer discussing Vietnam and the prob-
brothers. Only one witness, a former colleague in crime and now lems arising out of it. One senses
prisoner awaiting trial in Germany, failed to recollect their little support for President John-
misdeeds. This man recalled without any trace of regret his son's actions, but also little will-
own participation in the execution of sick Jews: "It was an order ingness to appear to be in opposi-
and it did therefore not occur to me that the killing of Jews tion to his position."
Cohen did not comment in his
was a sin."
paper on the climate generated.
Both accused denied any guilt whatsoever. Wilhelm Mauer by
Vietnam but made pointed ob-
declared emphatically that all the witnesses must be mistaken servations
on the extent of resi-
in identifying him as he had never killed anybody; his brother dual anti-Semitism.
He noted that
Johann was particularly aggressive: "The whole action against it was obvious that overt manifes-
the Mauer brothers is a put-up job. In order not to let this tations of anti Semitism have
business of war crimes trials peter out, one needs this hullaballoo clined in recent years.
also in the festival town of Salzburg." Their defending counsel
Cohen said that "the Great So-
took this theme further by alleging that his clients were the ciety will not have any impact on
victims of a sinister Jewish conspiracy. This outrageous state- problems of anti-Semitism. It will
ment was greeted with uproarious applause from the court be up to the Jewish agencies them-
audience which thus gave unequivocal expression to its compassion selves to undertake appropriate
for the two fellow-citizens in the dock.
programs. . . ." He asserted that
In this atmosphere, reminiscent of trials in the deep South "in recent years, inadequate at-
of the United States against White killers of Negroes, the jury tention has been given to onto
too sided with the accused. These no doubt representative Salz- Semitism and assumptions as to its
burgers discarded the evidence provided by the witnesses and demise have been ill-founded."
accepted the denial of the Mauer brothers. The jury declared
them guilty only of having participated in one horrible mass Ben-Gurion Demands
murder action but added the rider that the accused had acted
under duress compelled by superior orders. The defense had not Electoral Reforms
pleaded this excuse which had been proved baseless in many
trials. It is well known that members of Nazi units who shrank founding convention of former
from killing helpless men, women and children and refused to Premier David Ben-Gurion's dis-
take part in their "liquidation" were not punished by their sident Israel Workers Party (Rafi)
superiors but merely transferred to other less cushy jobs.
ended here last weekend with a
The Salzburg Court, composed of three judges, refused to demand for electoral reform along
their credit to acquit the accused in accordance with the verdict. the lines of Britain's constituency
They dismissed the jury and referred the case to the Supreme system.
Shimon Peres was unanimously
Court which may order a re-trial. The jubilations of the sym-
pathers with Nazi murder, who enjoyed the support of one local re-elected party secretary-general
newspaper, are therefore somewhat premature. It would be and a 210-member central corn-
equally unfair to condemn now the judiciary of the Austrian mittee was elected.
The delegates reiterated the
Republic for having failed once more in its task. Austrian justice
party's support for Ben Gurion's
is on trial and has still a chance to prove its worth.
There is no doubt that there are among the Austrians fair-minded persistent demand for a judicial
judges and men of good will. But they were very few in this category inquiry into the Lavon Affair.
Pinhas Lavon, a one time power
when Hitler assumed power in Austria in 1938, and there aren't too
many today, else it would not have been necessary for the judges to in the ranks of the Mapai, was
ousted as defense minister as the
act as they did in refusing an acquittal to Nazis.
result of a security mishap. He
The thing to remember is that Austrian arrogance may truly was cleared of responsibility in a
stein from a revived prosperity which is assisted by tourists' dollars. series of investigations despite
We never advocate assistance to movements that perpetuate poverty Ben-Gurion's vehement protests,
—and we certainly witnessed great poverty and misery in Vienna in and invited to return to Mapai by
the mid-1950s. But if affluence is a factor in building up Nazism, Premier Levi Eshkol. This was one
then it should be taken into consideration by those who must become of the issues on which Ben-Gurion
aware that a Nazi Austria could contribute to a Nazi Europe and to split with Eshkol.
the spread of that venom elsewhere. All steps must be taken to make
the Austrians realize that their new Nazi forces are not contributing THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
to a good world anywhere.
2—Friday, May 27, 1966