VIENNA (Jul. 23)
A new bill introduced in the Austrian Parliament by the Catholic People’s Party and the Socialists calls for the establishment of a “hardship equalization fund” to compensate those who are forced to return their property to the original Jewish owners, it was learned today.
Money for the proposed fund would come from heirless Jewish property estimated at 100,000,000 pounds, as well as from a five percent levy on property already restored to the rightful owners or their heirs. The new proposal is intended to replace the previous plan designed to amend existing legislation to avoid hardships for Nazis who seized Jewish property. Observers here point out that if the measure is approved, all efforts of Austrian and international Jewish organizations to retrieve heirless Jewish property to be used for the reestablishment of Jewish survivors in Austria or in Israel would be frustrated.