Austrian Minister Optimistic on Restitution Contributions by Germany

Dr. Bruno Kreisky, Foreign Minister of Austria, expressed confidence today that Austrian-West German talks on a West German contribution to Austrian funds for restitution of losses of Austrian victims of the Nazi period would soon bring favorable results.

Dr. Kreisky made the prediction in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which he also said that until the Nazi invasion in March 1938, there was no distinction in Austrian law between Jews and non-Jews. Therefore, he said, regardless of whether or not Austrians participated in plundering Jewish property, he felt that the Germans, who introduced discriminatory legislations against Austrian Jews should take part in the compensation of Jewish losses in Austria.

He also said that the West German negotiators had not as yet mentioned specific figures but other sources, including a spokesman at the West German Embassy here have declared repeatedly that the West German Government was willing to pay 1,000,000,000 schillings if Austria would match the sum. This offer would cover not only payments for victims of Nazi persecution but also to refugees, particularly from Czechoslovakia. Dr. Kreisky emphasized that Austria had already paid 1,350,000,000 schillings for restitution losses for political and racial persecution but he did not give any breakdown on the figure.

NEXT STORY