ZURICH (Jul. 12)
The most profound dissatisfaction with the Austrian Government’s failure once again, after more than a year of negotiations, to meet the claims for compensation and restitution of the Austrian-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution was expressed by the Joint Executive Board of the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria meeting here yesterday under the chairmanship of Dr. Nahum Goldmann.
“The Austrian Government gave us specific assurances when negotiations were resumed June 1 that we could reasonably expect them to be satisfactorily concluded within four weeks on all points at issue. By requesting a further postponement until October, the Austrian Government has regrettably failed to fulfill these expectations,” the executive board declared.
“Despite the repeated declaration of its desire and intention to satisfy the Jewish claims, the Austrian Government has not done so, but has failed even to maintain commitments it already specifically agreed to,” the executive board said.
“This is all the more disquieting since in the very course of our negotiations the Austrian Government has enacted legislation restoring rights and possessions to Austrian Nazis, many of whom have been convicted of criminal acts against the Jews”, the declaration stated. “It is indefensible that the Austrian Government should give priority to the demands of Nazi persecutors while deferring action on the rightful claims of the victims”, the statement added.
WILL AWAIT NEW PROPOSALS; OUTLINES CLAIMS
“Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab has now made suggestions which do not come within a measurable distance of meeting the minimum Jewish claims. In the hope that better councils will prevail and the Austrian Government will still show a willingness to meet the just claims of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in Austria, we are prepared to await the proposals which Chancellor Raab promised to make to us in October.
“It is essential to emphasize, however, that they will be required to be definite and complete and that they will meet the reasonable and minimum claims which we put forward,” the executive board stressed in its statement. It outlined its claims on Austria as follows:
1. Elimination of all legislation and measures discriminating against Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, whether resident in Austria or abroad; 2. Adequate compensation for household possessions lost through Nazi persecution; 3. Compensation for economic losses not indemnifiable under existing Austrian legislation; 4. Payment to rebuild and re-equip synagogues and other communal institutions and to restore Jewish cemeteries destroyed or damaged by the Nazis; 5. Provision for housing of Jewish victims of Nazism requiring homes; 6. Compensation for heirless and unclaimed Jewish property.
“It is lamentable that many years after the war, the just claims of Austrian Jewry of whom 60,000 were murdered by the Nazis and more than 100,000 were forced to flee from the Nazi terror still remain unsatisfied,” the executive board noted.” We now finally expect the Austrian Government will show good faith and real attempts to provide this, the basis on which a satisfactory agreement in this grave problem can be reached.”