Austrian Jewry

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


The Jews of Vienna


     About 10,000 Jews live in Wien (Veen) today. The city has a population of two million, which constitutes one quarter of Austria’s eight million people. Although the Jewish population is so small that few Austrians have ever seen a Jew, the medieval hatred which produced Hitler and Eichmann is still a principal feature of Austrian life.

     The Jews who live there today don’t like to take public transportation because the bus driver is likely to claim that the Jewish passenger has the wrong ticket or pass. It is just as likely that one or more of the passengers make loud anti-Jewish remarks or the Jewish riders just “get funny looks.”

     Anyone who has only a minimum understanding of human history knows that beliefs linger for centuries in any civilization, which is defined by the opinions of its people. This is as true of the Austrians as any one else. Therefore the great enthusiasm of the Austrian population for their countryman, Adolf Hitler, and his brutal destruction of the European Jews, is well regarded in the country of his birth. Austrians have engaged in psychotic hatred for so many generations that they cannot rid themselves of this sentiment now.

     Indeed, the mass murders are no longer possible. Indeed, the Austrian government has occasionally admitted the complicity of their people in the mass murder of their Jewish neighbors. Nevertheless, the hate continues, as rabbis are abused in the streets, synagogues are defaced, and circumcision as well as kosher slaughter is prohibited.

     As early as 1887, the Vienna citizens elected Karl Lueger mayor. Lueger ranted against Jews and was largely elected because he advocated the closure of Austria to any potential Jewish immigrants. This brought him a majority of votes and also led to “honorable mention” of his name in Hitler’s book Mein Kampf (My Fight). Yet, in Lueger;s day there were over 200,000 Jews in Vienna, including some of the most famous and creative people of that day.

     There were so many major Jewish scientists, musicians, artists, physicians, and others in Vienna before the invasion of Austria by the Germans in 1936 that it would take a whole encyclopedia to discuss them all. Included were Sigmund Freud, Arnold Schönberg, Wilhelm Reich, Fritz Kreisler, Richard Tauber, Gustav Mahler, Lion Feuchtwanger, etc. etc.

      The Austrians wanted none of these. Instead they welcomed Hitler and his killers with immense enthusiasm in 1936 and admire their important countryman to this day. In Hitler’s honor, anti-Jewish incidents doubled in the last few years, even as the Jewish population shrinks every day.

     It is of course true that almost all European countries have reverted to their age old hatred and make life difficult for the Jews still living there. Like all European Jews, the Austrian Jews have no future in the land of Mein Kampf, as those who still dance to the music of the Jew Johann Strauss have traded their Jewish population for a vast influx of 339,000 Turks and other Muslims, whom the population despise as well. Acquiris quodcumque rapis.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Assassination, Anarchy, & Terrorism (2012).

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