Austrian Retribution to the Jews
To the Editor:
The regrettably ambiguous position of the Austrian Socialists in matters of retribution to the Jews (Benno Weiser, “Unsentimental Journey to Vienna,” July 1955) must not be extended to include moral responsibility for Hitler’s rise in Austria in 1938. Then, as Mr. Weiser will agree, the Socialist ranks held firm while the Catholic side, strangely, collapsed.
On March 27, 1938, only two weeks after Hitler’s invasion, there appeared on every street corner of the country and was read from each and every church pulpit the following declaration signed by all the archbishops and bishops of Austria, although some of them were known to be opponents of National Socialism:
After thorough deliberation, we, the Bishops of Austria, have decided in this historic moment to issue an appeal to the faithful. . . . We do so in the realization that our thousand-year-old longing for the unification of the German people has been fulfilled. We, the undersigned Bishops for the Austrian dioceses, of our own free will do solemnly declare. . . .
We joyfully recognize that the National Socialist movement has produced outstanding achievements. . . . On Plebiscite Day it will be for us as Bishops a self-evident duty, and a national duty, to profess ourselves as Germans and for the German Reich. We expect all faithful Christians to take cognizance of what they owe to their nation!
In view of this declaration, it is difficult to see how the Austrian Catholic party and the Chancellor can deny reparations to the Jews on the basis of moral innocence for what happened after 1938.
[Since the receipt of Mr. Zeisel's letter, agreement on Austrian reparations to Jews has been reached, but has still to become law.—Ed.]
To the Editor:
May I draw attention to a misunderstanding which has crept into my article (“The Dilemmas of Western Aid to Free Asia”) in your August number? On p. 123 the printed text suggests that some 50 per cent of the profits made in Indian private industry are exported from that country. What I had tried to convey was that the foreign-owned sector of Indian industry accounts for about half the net profits made. These, however, would normally be reinvested rather than exported. This does not, of course, make the situation any less serious from the standpoint of India’s economic planners who are aiming at the balanced development of their country’s economy.
G. L. Arnold