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Austrian Cabinet Approves Restitution Measure; Jews Seek Return of 4,600 Properties

The drafting by the government of the first of a series of restitution measures was approved by the Austrian cabinet today and will go before Parliament sometime before the end of the present session on July 15.

This first measure provides that properties which were confiscated and held directly by the Nazi regime, and which are now being administered by the Vienna Government, should be returned to their rightful owners. If enacted, therefore, the measure will mark the first step in the way of restitution to Austrian Jews, and will affect 4,600 properties stolen from them. Most of it is real estate.

These stolen properties will be claimed by the pre-Nazi owners or their hairs. The draft does not mention Jews expressly, but obviously they will be the chief beneficiaries of the measure.

At a series of meetings held by the Jewish community here in support of the measure, various speakers made the point that Jews would remain “citizens of second rank” until such time as restitution was made to them.