Austria Welcomes Early Start of Reparations Talks with Jews

The decision by the Austrian Government to start technical discussions with representatives of Jewish organizations on the question of reparations by Austria to Jews was adopted about three weeks ago. Austrian Vice-Chancellor Dr. Adolph Schaerf told newsmen here today. He favored immediate beginning of the discussions.

Revealing further details of the Cabinet decision, the Vice-Chancellor–who is attending the international Socialist convention here–said that the Austrian Government plans to start the negotiations with talks between representatives of Jewish groups and of the Finance Ministry. Later, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Ministries of Justice and Interior will join the negotiations.

Dr. Schaerf emphasized that the negotiations will encounter difficulties particularly due to the fact that the Soviet authorities in Austria claim that heirless property seized by the Red Army in Austria is part of the Russian war reparations. He also pointed out that the absence of a peace treaty between the Allied Powers and Austria prevents Austria from disposing freely of its property.

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