Austrian Cabinet to Re-introduce Law Restoring Property to Nazis

With the Four Power occupation of Austria at an end, the Austrian Cabinet decided yesterday to re-introduce in Parliament Nazi amnesty laws repeatedly passed by that body but just as often rejected by the Allied Council during the occupation.

At a meeting of the Cabinet, Chancellor Julius Raab and his Minister of Finance. Reinhard Kamitz, were authorized to present to Parliament legislation restoring pension and property rights and the Minister of Interior. Oskar Helmer, was instructed to introduce legislation to amend the constitution and return to citizenship Nazis and other Fascists who were specifically barred by postwar legislation and court action.

Specifically, these measures would restore property to Nazis and Aryanizers which had been transferred to the Austrian Government by People’s Courts after the liberation of Austria. It would also restore pensions to civil servants who had been Nazis and as such had been punished by the postwar government. These provisions would apply only to those Nazis who had been amnestied, a process which has been going on for years and which will be speeded up by the new constitutional amendments authorized at the same Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Arguments offered by Austrian political leaders for this position, is that now that Nazi victims are to receive indemnification, “equality” must be established for former Austrian Nazis. The reference to indemnification of Nazi victims is the means used by Austrian political leaders to couple the agreement with the Jewish Claims Committee, with measures to aid former Nazis.

In the constitutional amendments restoring citizenship, provision is made not only for members of the Nazi Party as such, but also for members of the “Austrian Legion” who lost their citizenship under the Schuschnigg regime because they had immigrated to Germany where they formed the core of the movement which was to undermine Austrian sovereignty and pave the way for Hitler’s triumphal march into Austria and the “Anschluss.” Also to benefit under this measure will be Austrians who participated in Hitler’s Munich beer parlor putsch and were subsequently honored by the Nazis as members of the “Order of the Blood.”

NEXT STORY