VIENNA (Jul. 31)
Soviet insistence that Jewish property confiscated by the Nazis in Austria must be held for reparations and is not subject to return to its original owners blocked the return this week of four pieces of communal property whose recovery was claimed by the Chief Rabbinate of Austria.
The Office of the Chief Rabbi appealed last month to Chancellor Leopold Figl for the return of former synagogue at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, which is now used as a warehouse; for a Jewish cemetery near Deutsch-Wagram, currently used as a railway repair yard; for a synagogue in Storchengasse, now occupied by the headquarters of a trade union; and for a former kindergarten in Leopoldstadt.
Chancellor Figl forwarded the application for the return of the property to the Allied Commission, where the return of the property was supported by the American, British and French representative but opposed by the Soviet delegate, who claimed sole jurisdiction in the matter as in previous similar issues.
The American representative asserted that property obtained by force or dureas could not appropriately be used for war reparations. He added that it was especially regrettable that religious property could not be restored. The Soviet representative proposed a resolution referring Chancellor Figl to the Soviet High Commissioner. The question was dropped in disagreement.