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  • Austria Gets First Female Rabbi

    A child survivor of the Holocaust has become the first female rabbi in the country her family fled some 63 years ago. After her appointment was announced in March, Eveline Goodman-Thau was welcomed Sunday to Vienna’s 160-member liberal congregation, Or Chadash, where she will serve for at least one year. Goodman-Thau, who will be 67… More ▸

  • Fears of Rising Anti-semitism Emerge As Vienna Votes for Mayor

    Days before elections for mayor of Vienna, anti- Semitism has again become an issue for Austria. The issue erupted after far-right politician Jorg Haider made a series of disparaging remarks about the leader of the Austrian Jewish community, Ariel Muzicant. The question of anti-Semitism — in a nation that once welcomed native son Adolf Hitler… More ▸

  • Austrian Survivors’ Settlement Means Money, Pensions, Doctors

    After last-minute negotiating, Austria, the United States and Jewish groups signed an agreement under which Austria will pay millions of dollars to Holocaust survivors. Until the 11th hour, it looked as if the deal might collapse, as Austrian officials and the country’s Jewish community couldn’t quite reach agreement on terms. But late Wednesday, Austria agreed… More ▸

  • 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 ▸