• Short Summary

    Despite the Austrian Government's pledge to two Arab gunmen to deny travel facilities for emigrating Soviet Jews through its territories, trainloads of Jews continued to arrive from the Soviet Union on Monday (1 October).

  • Description

    Despite the Austrian Government's pledge to two Arab gunmen to deny travel facilities for emigrating Soviet Jews through its territories, trainloads of Jews continued to arrive from the Soviet Union on Monday (1 October).

    The two gunman seized the three Soviet Jews and an Austrian official at a border railway station on Friday and freed their hostages unharmed after a sixteen-hour drama climaxed by Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreieky's offer to curt Jewish group transit facilities.

    Since 1967, 66,000 Soviet Jews have passed through the Schloss Shoenau transit camp twenty-miles (32-kilometres) south of Vienna. Shoenau is under private lease to the Jewish Agency, who operate it.

    An average of 2,650 Jews per month have been allowed to leave Russia this year. Their travel arrangements were sponsored by the Jewish Agency, while the Austrian Government provided transit visas, administrative facilities and police protection.

    If the Austrian Government carries out its pledge to curb group transit, it is not clear whether the flow of Soviet Jews through Austria will be altered. Austrian Government officials have said that under the terms of the pledge, only "systematic organisation" of transit facilities would be halted and Russian Jews with valid visas could still enter Austria.

    Israeli Premier Golda Meir is scheduled to go to Vienna on Tuesday (2 October) for talks with Chancellor Bruno Kreieky. On Monday (1 October) she had termed the Austrian decision as being a victory for terrorism.

    SYNOPSIS: In Vienna on Monday, trainloads of Soviet Jews continued to arrive despite the pledge to two Arab gunmen that transit facilities would be halted. The pledge had been exacted on Saturday from Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreieky in return for the safe release of three Soviet Jews and an Austrian official, taken hostage from a refugee train at the Austro-Czechoslovak border. Since 1967, sixty-six thousand Soviet Jews have passed through Austrian transit facilities. So far this year, an average of two-thousand six-hundred and fifty Jewish emigrants have arrived each month.

    The heavily guarded Schloss Shoenau just south of Vienna has been the main facility used for processing the Jewish emigrees. It is run under a private agreement by the Jewish Agency, who also made all travel arrangements while the Austrian Government provided transit visas, administrative facilities and police protection. The vast majority of Jews arriving here want to settle in Israel. They are immediately supplied with an Israeli passport as they must give up their Soviet documents on leaving the country. Some of the refugees also travel on to the United States or other Western countries. But it's is because this centre handles so many Soviet Jews going on to Israel, that it has long been the object of Arab animosity. If the Austrian Government carries out its pledge to curb group transit, it is unclear what the fate of this facility, and the people it handles, will be.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA34V6MS6NM76SLADZH44Y94XT1
    Media URN:
    VLVA34V6MS6NM76SLADZH44Y94XT1
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/10/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:25:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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