Austria Discourages Jewish Demand for Increase in Restitution

A survey of opinions of members of the Austrian Government indicated today that there was little hope of any increase in restitution for victims of Nazi persecution during the German occupation of Austria. Such an increase is being demanded by Jewish leaders who find the Austrian restitution payments insufficient.

Dr. Bruno Pitterman, vice-chancellor, said that the Austrian federal budget for next year does not include any increase in payments already being made for each month’s imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps. He said that while the Government agrees with some claims of the Jewish community, such as for payment of 6,000,000 schillings for wrecked synagogues, nothing had been done about this so far.

Dr. Pitterman added that the best way for better restitution payments would be through present laws because efforts to obtain legislation for larger payments would “stir” emotions among the Austrian people.

Anton Proksch, Minister of Social Welfare, said that rent payments for Nazi victims was the only possible means of increasing payments to persecutees, including the war-crippled ones.

A. Probst, general secretary of the Socialist party, revealed that a subcommittee of coalition parties set up to study restitution problems was practically dormant. However, Socialist members of the Government expressed hope that the problems would “soon be solved.”

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