Rabbiner Michal Weissmandl an das Council for German Jewry in London wegen Hilfe für burgenländische Jüdinnen und Juden
I am here in England as the authorised representative of the Board of Deputies of the Jews of Burgenland and the Orthodox Rabbis of Austria. I have been here for 10 days already, but have unfortunately accomplished very little.
In the name of many thousands of suffering people, I beg of you most urgently and desperately to support the case of the privately instituted Aid Committee of the Orthodox Jewry in Vienna and especially the desperate need of the Jews of Burgenland.
In addition to this, we have to face the tragic problem of The Burgenland Refugees, the full burden of which falls upon the Committee.
The Jews of the Burgenland, mostly families settled there since centuries and distinguished by their conservative conduct, numbering about 3,000, were - as is sufficiently known - by means of tortures unheard of, compelled to charge themselves in a written statement with the commitment of different crimes. On the ground of these extorted protocols, their property was confiscated and they themselves driven out of the country.
One part of these Jews was deprived of all means, and driven to different frontiers - Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary and Jugo-Slavia[!]. Among them, hunted in herds, the oldest victim was 83 years, the youngest 3 weeks old. Among them were families who once possessed more than £100.000, and have to-day not a single penny left.
In Czecho-Slovakia alone, there are more than fifty of these people driven out and now hidden in different families, as they are there illegally without knowledge of the Authorities. Should the Authorities be informed of this state of affairs, they will be brought back to the Austrian frontier and the tragedy of persecution will start again.
Another part of these Jews are on the well-known French steamer in the Danube at Rajka. It is said that the English and American Consul in Prague have undertaken a guarantee for emigration on behalf of these Jews.
One part of these exiled are still in the Burgenland. Their businesses have been confiscated ant they will have to go at short notice. The longest term, which has been fixed for exile, is the 25th of May.
The greatest part of the Jews of Burgenland is, however, in Vienna - having saved their bare existence [...].
Michal Weissmandl, Rabbi, Nitra, Č.S.R.
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- United Kingdom
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- The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide
- WL 608
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