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Watch what you say

A friend advises caution in correspondence

“According to all experience, it is more than justified if your wife is extremely cautious in correspondence and asks you to be cautious, too. The mere suspicion of spreading ‘atrocity propaganda’ is enough to get one into serious difficulties.”


A WWI veteran, Alfred Schütz had studied law, sociology, and philosophy at the University of Vienna. Since the late 1920s, he had worked for the international banking house Reitler & Co. During the German invasion of Austria, he happened to be on a business trip to France. He opted to stay abroad, leaving behind his wife and child. A friend who had visited Vienna from London writes about his conversation with Schütz’s wife, Ilse. In his letter, he dissuades Alfred from returning to Austria due to the new regime’s attitude of suspicion towards the international banking industry. In light of the impending danger, a temporary separation from his family seemed like a better option to Schütz than coming back to Vienna.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Alfred Schutz Collection, AR 25500


Box 1, folder 18


on the days before