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Jews in Nazi-Occupied Countries: Report on The Situation in Vienna by the American Consul General

(June 13, 1938)

American Consulate General 
Vienna, June 13, 1938 
Subject: Jewish Situation 
The Honorable 
The Secretary of State 


…In respect of Jewish activities in general, there seems to be no relaxation whatsoever in the pressure which is being applied by the authorities. Wholesale arrests continue on an ever increasing scale. There is, moreover, a new wave of Jew-baiting in various sections of Vienna, as well as in several of the provincial cities of Austria.

There are innumerable cases where individuals are given the choice of leaving Austria within a given period, varying between two and eight weeks, or of being sent to Dachau. In many of these cases the individuals are supplied with police certificates attesting to the fact that there is nothing against them. This innovation is interesting in that the German authorities are expelling German citizens and in many cases are forcing would-be migrants to the United States to leave the country before a quota number can be made available to them.

The authorities are encouraging clandestine emigration. I have received what I believe to be a conservative estimate from an authoritative source that over 1,000 have been obliged to cross the frontier at night into Belgium. A few days ago 350 were sent in sealed cars to Greece whence they will be shipped to Palestine without visas or permits of entry. It was explained to me that the competent British authorities are unofficially in the picture and are not raising obstacles.

A section of the population that is in particular distress are the Mischlings or part Jews. I know one case of a distinguished composer whose property was sequestered and who is now seriously i'll. He was refused admission to the Jewish hospital on the grounds that he was not a Jew. The municipal hospital refused him admission because he was. He is now at the home of a friend, living on charity. He is 59 years old; despite the fact that he is a former officer, three times wounded in the War, he was sent to forced labor in Styria, where three days of work in the flooded areas brought on his illness. I cite this case as typical of the treatment meted out to Jews. So far there are no soup kitchens or other effective philanthropic activities for these people activiews for these people.

Respectfully yours, 
John C. Wiley 
American Consul General


Sources: John Mendelsohn (ed), "The Holocaust," Vol. 5, New York, 1982, p. 22-24.