U.S. and Austria Exchange Notes on Austrian Payments to Nazi Victims
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U.S. and Austria Exchange Notes on Austrian Payments to Nazi Victims

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The U. S. State Department disclosed today that the deadline for filing claims for confiscated furniture and other types of personal property seized during the Nazi regime in Austria has been extended from June 30 to December 31, 1959.

This was revealed in an announcement that the Governments of Austria and the United States exchanged notes on May 30 concerning the Austrian Fund of $6, 000, 000 for the Settlement of Certain Property Losses of Political Persecutees. The Fund was established to settle claims of persons who suffered from racial, religious or political persecution in Austria from March 13, 1938 to May 8, 1945, and whose bank accounts, securities, mortgages and cash were subjected to forced transfers or confiscated.

The State Department said the Fund also would settle claims of such persecutees for making of certain types of discriminatory payments, such as the special tax levied on Jews permitted to flee from Austria during the Nazi regime. The State Department stressed that all persecutees who sustained such losses were entitled to file claims regardless of present residence. Claim forms will be available at the Austrian Embassy, or at the nearest Austrian Consulate after enactment of Austrian legislation to implement the agreement.

The announcement also noted that persecutees whose pension rights or insurance policies were confiscated in Austria were reminded that the deadline for filing insurance policy claims was June 30, 1959.

The State Department also announced that the Austrian Government had agreed to send legislation to the Austrian Parliament to provide “adequate compensation” in line with the Third Austrian Restitution aw “to those claimants under that section of the law who have not accepted other settlements of their claims for certain agricultural property and who were subject to racial, religious or political persecution “during the 1938-1945 period.”


The Washington announcement drew attention to the fact that the Austrian Government had enacted an amendment to the Austrian War and Persecution Property Damage Law which “in effect increases the amounts which are to be awarded to certain claimants residing abroad for confiscated furniture and certain other personal property. ” It is in this category that the deadline for filing claims has been extended to December 31.

The announcement said that the official forms for filing such claims were not distributed, pending enactment of the amendment. The forms are now available at the Austrian Embassy here or at Austrian consulates in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta and Cleveland.

It also was announced that the Austrian Government had agreed to enact legislation to extend the time limit for persecutees who failed to file a restitution claim within the time limits “provided in Austrian restitution laws for the restitution of property, legal rights and interests which are now considered in Austria to be heirless or unclaimed expropriated property.”

The announcement said such claimants would be able, after the extension is enacted to obtain satisfaction of their claims, providing such claims are filed within three months after receipt by a claimant of a request to file a claim or in other cases within one year after the enactment of the pertinent Austrian legislation.”

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