Austrian Interns at Holocaust Museums Run Into U.S. Visa Problems

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An unusual program that allows Austrians to volunteer in Holocaust institutions in the United States in lieu of serving in the Austrian military has been disrupted because of difficulties in obtaining visas from the American government.

Officials with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust said the visa application for a prospective Austrian intern had been rejected twice since May and was on a final appeal. The museum was informed by the immigration authorities that the program was not considered a legitimate cultural exchange.

Other Holocaust institutions, including the Leo Baeck Institute in New York City and the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, have reported similar difficulties in the past four years.

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