NEW YORK (Jul. 17)
The failure of the Austrian Parliament, before adjourning for the season yesterday, to enact compensation measures for Nazi victims from that country “has shattered our confidence in Austrian good will for dealing with the subject of indemnification,” it was stated here today by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Committee on Jewish Claims on Austria. Dr. Goldmann spoke in the name of the 23 national and worldwide Jewish organizations making up the Committee.
“So far, the Austrian Government has neglected to enact the measures essential to provide even minimal compensation, among them the obligations it shouldered under the terms of the state treaty which granted it independence in 1955 and freed it from occupation by the four major powers,” Dr. Goldmann said.
Over the past five years, Austrian Government representatives have given Committee members assurances on many occasions that the necessary legislation would be enacted at an early date. The most recent, Dr. Goldmann pointed out, were given him less than two months ago, when he conferred with leading members of the Austrian Government in Vienna. They assured him that their Government was resolved to get comprehensive indemnification legislation through the Austrian Parliament by July 15, the adjournment date.
“It is a tragic disappointment that these assurances have not been honored.” Dr. Goldmann stated. He stressed that Nazi victims from Austria, in the scores of thousands, have received no compensation whatsoever from the Austrian Government for losses and injuries suffered in that country over 20 years ago. Thousands of others from Austria have received merely minimal benefits by way of compensation. “The bitterness of spirit with which Nazi victims from Austria will greet the newest development is fully understandable,” Dr. Goldmann concluded.