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Austrian Chancellor Explains Interruption of Claims Talks

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Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today said that the two basic reasons for interruption of the Austro-Jewish negotiations for restitution and indemnification claims of Jewish victims of the Nazi regime in Austria were that the Jews are disunited and that the Jewish Committee for Claims on Austria demanded too high a settlement.

He insisted that the Jewish negotiators must bring their demands down to “a real and bearable level.” He noted that the first Jewish demand had come to some $80, 000, 000 and said that the Austrian Government is willing to assume certain economic burdens to settle the Jewish claims, but only if the government can bear them in the current economic situation.

In the Fall, Chancellor Raab said, the Austrian Government will give the Jewish groups its final offer. At that time, he continued, it will be up to the Jews to decide whether they will accept it.

Elaborating on the question of disunity, the Chancellor revealed that he had received a cable today from a Jewish organization which insisted that the claims committee did not represent it in this matter.

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