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Austria

  • Austria Pledges $150 Million, but Restitution Talks Continue

    Austria has agreed to pay an additional installment of $150 million to compensate Jews whose property was looted by the Nazis, but stopped far short of a comprehensive and conclusive agreement covering all restitution issues. After a day of talks with Austrian officials in Washington, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat called the Austrian offer… More ▸

  • Jews, Militants Protest Vatican Audience with Austria’s Haider

    The Vatican downplayed Pope John Paul II’s audience with a far-right Austrian politician this week, but the hundreds of rioters who fought with police and the Jewish merchants who shuttered their shops obviously took it more seriously. The clashes erupted Saturday near St. Peter’s Square when Jorg Haider took part in a ceremony to light… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World: Vienna’s Holocaust Memorial Opens After Years of Delay and Controversy

    For a country that has had more than a few problems facing its past, the decision to build Vienna’s first Holocaust museum came almost easily. It was the follow-through that was difficult, time-consuming and controversial. Vienna’s Holocaust Memorial in the inner city’s Judenplatz was unveiled in a simple but moving ceremony Wednesday. Among those attending… More ▸

  • Jewish Leader Promises to Hold Austria’s Feet to Fire on Restitution

    In February, Austria announced plans to rapidly resolve all Holocaust restitution claims against it. Vienna’s enthusiasm for settling these claims came days after the European Union imposed sanctions against Austria for including a far-right party in its new government. Several American Jewish leaders rejected the about-face, charging it was a naked attempt to defuse criticism… More ▸

  • Jewish Groups Are Mixed on Lifting of Austria Sanctions

    Jews are voicing mixed reaction to the European Union’s move this week to lift sanctions it had imposed on Austria after the extremist Freedom Party joined the country’s government. The 14-member E.U. imposed the sanctions in February, three months after the Freedom Party – led by the charismatic Jorg Haider – had won 27 percent… More ▸

  • U.S. Pushes Austria to Settle Issue of Jewish Property Looted by Nazis

    The United States is stepping up pressure on Austria to settle a broad range of Holocaust-era issues. The chief U.S. official on Holocaust restitution issues, Stuart Eizenstat, made the American stance clear before traveling to Vienna, where representatives of seven countries are talking about creating an Austrian fund for Holocaust-era slave laborers. “While I’m pleased… More ▸

  • Jewish Officials Seek Ways to Force Austrian Restitution

    Jewish officials seeking restitution from Austria are in a bind. One the one hand, they are unwilling to negotiate directly with the Austrian government because it includes members of the far-right Freedom Party. But they also want to seek justice for Jews whose assets were looted by the Austrian government during World War II. The… More ▸

  • Austria Tries ‘grim Reaper’ Doctor for Nazi-era Euthanasia of Children

    Austria tries `Grim Reaper’ doctor for Nazi-era euthanasia of children A prominent Austrian neurologist was slated to go on trial this week for complicity in the murders of nine children when he served as a Nazi doctor during World War II. Heinrich Gross is alleged to have participated in the killings at the Am Spiegelgrund… More ▸

  • News Analysis: Haider’s Resignation May Mask Plan to Become Austria’s Leader

    Jorg Haider’s unexpected resignation as head of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party is widely seen as a strategic ploy that may ultimately win him more political power — including the nation’s leadership. “It is important not to overestimate” the move, Marta Halpert, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Vienna-based Central Europe office, told JTA. “It is a… More ▸

  • Anti-haider Demonstrators Take to the Streets in Vienna

    A quarter of a million people have braved icy rain in Vienna to protest the inclusion of Jorg Haider’s far-right Freedom Party in the new Austrian government. Saturday’s protest extended well beyond the Austrian capital, with thousands taking part in anti-Haider demonstrations in a number of other European cities. Some 9,000 took to the streets… More ▸