Dr. Goldmann Reaches Settlement with Austria on Jewish Claims

The long drawn out negotiations between the Austrian Government and world Jewish organizations for compensation for Jewish victims of Nazism in Austria came to an end today when Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the joint executive board of the Jewish Committee for Claims on Austria, accompanied by Moses W. Beckelman, head of the Jewish negotiations delegation, arrived here and met with Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab, Vice Chancellor Adolph Schaerf and Finance Minister Reinhardt Kamitz. Dr. Emil Maurer, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Austria, attended the meeting at which the settlement was reached.

Dr. Goldmann arrived here following a meeting of the joint executive board in Zurich yesterday at which the settlement reached earlier between the Jewish delegation and Austrian negotiators was accepted. In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dr. Goldmann said that the settlement is “fair and acceptable to world Jewry.

A formal statement announcing the total sum involved in the settlement is expected to be issued tomorrow by the Austrian Government. In the meantime, it was learned from private sources today that the sum involved will reach $22,000,000. The Austrian Government will establish a trust to administer a fund which will, during the next 10 years, pay to Austrian and former Austrian Jews now residing abroad lump sums in compensation for their claims.

Before setting up this trust, the Austrian Government will consult world Jewish organizations on the statute governing the trust and on its membership. The compensation payments will be tax-free and will be based upon a system of priorities in which need will be the major factor. State of health, ability to earn and age will be other determining factors.

Dr. Goldmann estimated that between 15,000 and 17,000 persons will benefit from the settlement. He said that one-third of the prospective beneficiaries now live in Israel, many thousands more in Britain and others in the United States and South America.

He credited the cooperation of all Jewish groups, including those in Austria, with bringing about the settlement. He also praised the interest displayed by the Big Powers in securing a fair settlement for the Jews and lauded the indirect assistance given by the Israel Foreign Ministry and by Israel’s consul here, Arie Eshel. He singled out for special praise Dr. Nehemiah Robinson, member of the Jewish negotiating group, whose role in the negotiations he called excellent.

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