Former Austrian Nationals in U.S. to Benefit As Nazi Victims

The State Department announced today that the Government of Austria has acted to extend to victims of persecution who were formerly nationals of Austria and who are now citizens of the United States certain benefits previously granted only to Austrian nationals.

The benefits involved are those provided by the “Victims Welfare Law” and those under the Civil Servants Indemnity Law. Expiration date for filing claims for these benefits was announced as August 20, 1954.

Under the Victims Welfare Law, as amended, persons who possessed Austrian nationality on March 13, 1938; suffered imprisonment in Austria at any time between March 6, 1933, and May 9, 1945, because of persecution, and have a present income of less than 100,000 schillings per year (approximately $3,845) are entitled to receive compensation. This compensation generally consists of a payment, presently amounting to 431,2 schillings, for each month spent in confinement.

Claimants are also entitled to receive compensation for certain court costs and administrative fees which were imposed in connection with such imprisonment but compensation for attorney’s fees, fines or confiscated property is not within the scope of this law. Claims for reduced benefits may be made by certain specified heirs. Claims under the Victims Welfare Law may be filed, with accompanying proof, with the Austrian Embassy in Washington.

Under the Civil Servants Indemnity Law, former public employees of the Austrian Federal State, of the laender, municipalities, etc., who, for political or racial reasons, were dismissed or suffered a reduction of their income at any time between March 6, 1933 and April 30, 1945, are entitled to certain benefits. Reduced benefits may be claimed by surviving spouse or children if the former civil servant is now deceased.

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