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Austrian Socialists Ask Government to Recognize Jewish Claims

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The Social Democratic Party, in its official organ, “Arbeiter Zeitung,” has called upon the Austrian Government and people to point out that they recognize the claims of Jewish victims of Nazism and that “we feel morally bound to make good for the crimes of National Socialism.” The Social Democratic Party, together with the People’s Party, introduced the laws passed last week in Austria restoring civil and property rights to 20,000 ex-Nazis.

The Arbeiter Zeitung said that the restitution situation in Austria is rather complicated and is very difficult for foreigners to understand. The newspaper said that the trade union movement in the United States is responsible for a good deal of the aid coming to Austria from the U.S. and that the garment workers who initiated relief shipments to Austria are 80 percent Jews, who cannot understand the current situation and are “justly indignant, from their point of view.”

At the same time the newspaper insisted that the bulk of the Nazi booty seized in Austria was shipped to Germany where the Soviet authorities now consider it German property and withhold it from the Austrian authorities. Claims for restitution will have to be postponed until after this property is returned to Austria, the Arbeiter Zeitung declared.

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