Sees Austrian Payment Pact ‘inevitable’ After German Treaty

The signing o f the Luxemburg reparations agreements between West Germany and the State of Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has made “inevitable” the settlement of the same problem in Austria, Dr.M.L. Perlzweig. World Jewish Congress representative, said here today. He stressed that the effect of the German settlement on Austrian public opinion had been “considerable.”

Dr. Perlzweig reported that he had visited Vienna to discuss restitution matters chiefly because representative of the Austrian Government had urged him to do so and described his reception as “very cordial and friendly.”

He said he had been received by Chancellor Leopold Figl and Foreign Minister Karl Gruber as a representative of the only organization through which the Jewish people as a whole could speak to a government. “They knew exactly whom I represented and they knew there were organizations in the United States and elsewhere which I did not represent,” Dr. Perlzweig declared. He disclosed that Chancellor Figl had said he was willing to discuss matters with representatives of world Jewry, “but I must have one partner with whom to do it.”

Referring to the German Government view that Austria, as one of the successor states of the Hitler Reich, must pay its own restitution claims, and to the Austrian view that the Germans should pay restitution claims presented by the Jews, Dr. Perlzweig insisted that this was a matter to be settled between the Germans and the Austrians. He warned that the Jews must not permit themselves to be trapped in the middle of such a dispute.

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