Jewish Property Will Not Be Returned in Austria Until Allies Decide on Reparations

Until the Allied powers clearly define what they mean by “German industry”–that is industry subject to seizure for reparations–there can be no solution of the problem of restoration of Jewish property in Austria, according to officials of the Ministry of Property Custody. They stressed, however, that in any case special treatment for Jews is not possible, because many groups are asking compensation for losses suffered during the Nazi occupation.

After the Allies have decided what property is to be treated as reparations, the officials said the Austrian Government will conduct a survey of the property available for restoration to Austrian “prejudiced subjects,” which category includes Jews.

Jewish circles fear that the aryanized Jewish factories will be considered war booty, but Government spokesman say that American authorities have promised that the Jewish demands for return of confiscated property will be kept in mind in determining what is to go into the reparations pool.

Meanwhile, mass meetings are being held here in preparation for elections to the Jewish community council, which are scheduled for the near future. Addressing one such meeting, Aaron Ehrlich, president of the Jewish Businessmen’s Association, charged of that the present leaders of the Jewish community are “mixing politics with the Jewish question.”

The Jewish community is awaiting with great anticipation the arrival here of the Anglo-American Palestine committee, which is expected on Feb. 15. Community spokesman are planning to present to the committee evidence of the inadequate housing and food available to Jews, and will submit their charges that the Government has not acted to expedite the return of Jewish property.

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