Wjc Unit Asks Big Four Support of Jewish Claims Against Austria

A request that the Big Four powers use their good offices with the Austrian Government to settle without further delay the claims of the world Jewish organizations for damages suffered by the Jews in Austria during the Nazi regime, was made here today at a meeting of the Western Hemisphere Executive of the World Jewish Congress in the form of a resolution to the Foreign Ministers meeting now taking place in Berlin.

Endorsing the claims submitted to the Austrian Government by the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria, the Executive urged the Foreign Ministers to “exercise their influence in this decisive hour to persuade the Austrian Government, in its own best interests and in accordance with the principles of justice and morality, to adopt an attitude that will lead to the fulfillment of its obligations.” The Executive deplored Austria’s action in breaking off discussions on heirless Jewish property claims as the violation of a promise made repeatedly to the Jewish representatives from June 17 to September 30, 1953.

“Austria cannot demand just treatment from the nations of the world without doing justice to the Jews who were subjected to cruel persecution during the Nazi period and who suffered material losses of staggering dimensions. The lamentable fact,” he said, “is that out of Austria’s pre-war Jewish population of 180,000, at least 60,000 perished in concentration camps and all but a handful of the remaining 120,000 fled from Austria and have been permanently uprooted from their homes.”

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