U.S. to Intercede with Austria on Payment of Claims to Jews

A delegation representing the committee for Jewish Claims on Austria today called upon the Deputy Undersecretary of State, Mr. Robert Murphy, to discuss the crisis in the negotiations between Austria and the world Jewish organizations for a settlement of Jewish claims. Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee, Frank Goldman, honorary president of B’nai B’rith, and Adolph Held, president of the Jewish Labor Committee, expressed appreciation for the sympathetic attitude with which the U. S. Government has been following these negotiations.

The delegation called to the attention of the State Department the refusal of the Austrian Government to continue negotiations on settlement of claims for heirless property. Austria had agreed to discuss a settlement of this issue last June when negotiations began.

The delegation pointed out that while balking on a settlement of heirless Jewish property, the Austrian Government has repeatedly attempted to restore property and legal status to incriminated Nazis. The Jewish representatives also recalled that tens of thousands of persons who suffered losses and privations through Nazi rule in Austria, but were fortunate to find a haven in the United States, and are now American citizens, are vitally concerned with the successful outcome of the negotiations.

The delegation reported that Mr. Murphy expressed the deep concern of the U. S. Government over the deadlock in the negotiations between Austria and the Jewish organization. He assured the delegation that the State Department will continue its efforts to bring about the satisfactory solution of the present difficulties. He further re-affirmed the State Department’s continuing desire for effective action to give justice due in the interest of victims of Nazi persecution.

The delegation was accompanied by Mr. Saul Kagan, of the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria; Dr. Nehemish Robinson, of the World Jewish Congress and Seymour Rubin, of the American Jewish Committee.

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