Simone Veil avec Golda Meir, en 1975.
(photo credit: GPO)
On September 28, 1973, a band of Palestinian terrorists belonging to as-Sa’iqa took a group of Jews hostage on a train at the border of Czechoslovakia and Austria. As-Sa’iqa was a terrorist organization created and controlled by then Syrian president Hafez Assad. The Jews were Russian, heading for the Schoenau transit center in Austria, a former castle run by the Jewish Agency and assigned by the Austrian government as a transit camp for Russian Jews emigrating to Israel and the West. The hostages included a three-year-old child, a 73-year-old man and an ailing woman.The terrorists’ ultimatum: Close the Schoenau camp or we will execute the hostages. Austria’s chancellor, Bruno Kreisky, acceded to the terrorists’ demands and announced he would close the camp. Kreisky, a socialist, was overtly antisemitic, apologetic toward former Nazis and had four of them in his cabinet.