Page 9, 8th July 1938

8th July 1938
Page 9
Page 9, 8th July 1938 — HAS DR. MATEJKA BEEN ASSASSINATED? Catholic Leader's Doubtful Fate

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HAS DR. MATEJKA BEEN ASSASSINATED? Catholic Leader's Doubtful Fate

From Our German Correspondent

Readers may remember an interview of a CATHOLIC HERALD staff reporter with Dr. Viktor Matejka. It appeared on February 18, 1938 under the heading " Schuschnigg's Bolshevist Friend." Dr. Matejka, then the Austrian Government's adviser to the Vienna Corporation of Workers and Employees, had just paid a short visit to London, where he also had an interview with Lord Robert Cecil.

When the Nazis " conquered " Austria, Dr. Matejka was arrested on the first night, He was brought to the ill-famed German concentration camp of Dachau. Rumours claim that Dr. Viktor Matejka has died in Dachau. So far they have neither been denied nor confirmed.

In his exclusive interview to the CATHOLIC HERALD he said : " I am labelled in the Nazi press as Dr. Schuschnigg's Bolshevist Friend.' But despite the grim attacks of the Nazis and the veiled attacks of their sympathisers in Government ranks, the Catholic working-class movement is a force to be reckoned with."

Dr. Matejka belonged to a group of young Catholic intellectuals who might be labelled as the " left wing " of Austrian Catholicism, The leader of that group was Baron Nikolaus Hovorka. Hovorka and Matejka had been since 1926 joint editors of the important magazine, Berichte zur Kultur-und Zeitgeschichte,

After February, 1934, they joined Dr. Winter, vice-burgomaster of Vienna, in his efforts to win the moderate elements from the Social-Democratic party for a support, at least a conditional support of the Dollfuss Government.

Hovorka and Matejka used all their influence to make the Austrian regime more democratic. They insisted upon the necessity of freeing Austria from the Italian guardianship, of getting rid of the Fascist and militaristic Heimwehr elements who were very unpopular and owed their influence only to their arms

and to the support of Mussolini, and of re-orienting Austrian policy towards the Western powers.

They organised the Austrian section of the International Peace Campaign and were therefore of course the object of very violent attacks from Nazis and semi-Nazis. Dr. Matcjka's interviews with Cardinal Verdier of Paris and with Lord Robert Cecil were very much discussed in Austria.

There are many other Catholic leaders in the Dachau concentration camp. The news about the death of Dr. Richard Schmitz, the last Lord Mayor of Vienna, has been denied in the Nazi press, but without great emphasis. It is impossible for the moment to find out whether it was true or not.

One thing is unfortunately quite certain : the death-rate in Dachau is terribly high, and a considerable number of leading Austrians have already died there, e,g., Mr. Robert Hecht, former vice-director of a bank, and several Viennese journalists.


A Canadian Royal Commission has spent six months investigating the problems raised by the financial relations between the Federal and Provincial Governments.

The main difficulty under discussion is that the primary obligation for all social services rests with the Provinces. But the fact that the Federal Government had to come to the relief of the Provincial Governments over the onerous burden caused by the economic depression after the boom of 1929 has led to a demand for a redistribution of Dominion and Provincial authority.

The Western and Maritime Provinces demand changes in the existing regime, the Ontario Government refuses them.

Quebec Stands Pat

Quebec Province has refused to make any submission at all to the Commission, or even to answer the questionnaires sent to the governments. The reason is that in Quebec it is feared that any scheme for a new Canadian Parliament might extinguish the' existing guaranteed rights of minorities. Especially important to Quebec is the maintenance of French as the second official language, and certain educational rights accorded to Catholics.


Hands Over to Italians

Mgr. Jarosseau, French Missionary Bishop at Harrar, Abyssinia, has now left Abyssinia, having handed over his mission to the Italian missionaries sent by the Congregation of Propaganda. It will be remembered that several times during the Abyssinian war it was stated that Mgr. Jarosseau had been expelled from the country by the Italians, for his upholding of the Abyssinian cause, which he held to be right.

Mgr. Jarosseau was in fact ordered to leave the country, but the order was countermanded, owing, it is stated, to a request made by the French to the Italian Government.


Very High, Indeed

It was reported lately that the monster statue sof Our Lady being erected near Lyons, France, was the largest religious statue in the world.

The Americans got wind of this,

Now they hope to erect THE largest religious statue in the world —a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, at the Golden Gate of his city, San Francisco, Calif.

This statue, it is hoped, will be in position for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition.

This statue has been projected for many years, but the Great Depression prevented any tangible results. The exact height is not yet known, but if the present boom continues, it is expected to be very high.

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