Menu JTA Search


  • In Austria, the War in Lebanon Provided Fodder for Anti-semites

    Right-wing Austrian firebrand Joerg Haider has emerged with a vengeance in the wake of Israel’s war with Hezbollah, calling Vienna’s top Jewish leader a “Zionist provocateur” and demanding the ouster of Israel’s ambassador. Commentators agree that Israel’s monthlong war with the Lebanese terrorist group emboldened the extreme-right segment of Austrian society that Haider represents, which… More ▸

  • Austrian Survivors Get Some Closure with Reparations and Returned Paintings

    The expulsion and extermination of 182,000 Austrian Jews during the Nazi era is a wound that will never heal completely, but two important decisions during recent weeks at least point to a symbolic closure for the dwindling number of survivors and the Austrian government. In a high-profile case, Maria Altmann won her seven-year battle to… More ▸

  • U.S. Court Decision Opens Door to Compensation for Austrian Survivors

    A U.S. court decision has paved the way for final compensation payments to Holocaust survivors from Austria. The Dec. 7 decision by a U.S. District Court in New York to dismiss class-action lawsuits against Austrian businesses was greeted with relief by survivor organizations and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, parties to a… More ▸

  • Camp in Austria Was First Contact for Jewish Refugees Heading West

    When my family left the Soviet Union in November 1989, we were among the first wave of Jewish refugee families to reach Kinderdorf, a summer retreat in this small rural Austrian town. Nestled between hilly green pastures, Kinderdorf has six buildings that together can house about 150 people. The buildings usually sit empty in autumn… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World in Austria, a Jewish Community Hopes to Attract New Immigrants

    Give us your tired, your poor, your Ukrainians. Such is the vision of Ariel Muzicant, president of Vienna’s Jewish community. He hopes the community’s abundance of cultural, educational and social riches, coupled with Austria’s healthy economy, will become a magnet for thousands of Jews living further east. “We have the best infrastructure of any Jewish… More ▸

  • Islamic Forum Organizers Look to Vienna After Berlin Bans Parley

    Organizers of an extremist Islamic conference banned in Berlin are hoping to move their event to Vienna. Fadi Mahdi, deported earlier this month from Germany to Beirut, told the Spiegel Online magazine that the event, billed as the first Arabic Islamic congress in Europe, should take place in the Austrian capital. Protesters, in an open… More ▸

  • Austrian Fund Agreement Gives Survivors Further Compensation

    Austrian Holocaust survivors will receive supplementary compensation payments under a new agreement announced by the Austrian National Fund. The accord, announced Wednesday in Vienna, will provide Austrian victims of Nazi persecution $1,200 for confiscated rental apartments, household belongings and personal items. The disbursements come in addition to $7,000 payments already released to eligible survivors by… More ▸

  • Supreme Court Rules That Austria Can Be Sued over Nazi-looted Art

    A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Holocaust victims’ families can sue Austria to recover Nazi-looted paintings could have repercussions for other cases against European governments. The court ruled Monday that Americans can sue foreign governments in U.S. courts over looted art, stolen property and war crimes dating back to the Holocaust era. The decision is… More ▸

  • Comments by U.S. Congressman on Holocaust Spurs Squabble with Austria

    Austrian diplomats in the United States have taken issue with an indictment of their country’s attitude toward the Holocaust by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.). “I am tired of being told that Austria was the first victim of Hitler, when in fact Austria was the first ally of Hitler,” Lantos, a Holocaust survivor born in Hungary,… More ▸

  • For Austrian Man, Service Program is a Chance to Rectify Pain of Shoah

    With anti-Semitism at its highest level in years, support for the Jewish community sometimes comes from the most unlikely of places. An Austrian program that provides an alternative to the country’s obligatory military service is placing young volunteers at Holocaust institutions around the world, including at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center. Opened in 1979, the… More ▸