Relations with Jewish Communities in the Diaspora
The Jewish Community (IKG) became a member of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) soon after its consolidation in 1945. In the WJC, it found an ally in fighting the anti-Semitism and in the fight for just and fast restitution of property and compensation payments. However, conflicts would soon arise.
The two delegates sent to Vienna in June 1946 were at first welcomed warmly, but tensions between the officials of the IKG and the WJC soon emerged. Vienna was topographically at the center of the East-West conflict and it was considered as a bridge between the Jews living on both sides of the Iron Wall. A visa to Vienna was often for East-European Jews the only chance to travel to the West. The fact that Communists dominated the IKG irritated the WJC. Its representative in Vienna, the conservative Zionist Ernest Stiassny, one of the most influential Jewish persons in post-war Austria, tried to interfere with its politics which led to many tensions within the Community, which was anyway rather heterogeneous. Despite a coalition against the Communist leadership of the IKG, it received the majority of votes in 1948. Due to changes in the general political climate it lost more than 50% in 1952, but was represented in the IKG until 1968 when it lost a mandate by two votes.
When the WJC interfered for the IKG with Austrian politicians or announced that Austria was the "cradle of Nazism", the IKG faced the problem of being accused of being part of "World Jewry", an old anti Semitic accusation. The IKG became painfully aware of that when it faced the "Waldheim crisis" in 1986.