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Jews to Ask Austria for $10,000,000 Heirless Property Payment

September 16, 1952
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The Austrian Government will be asked to make a lump-sum payment of $10,000,000 as compensation for heirless Jewish property seized by the Nazi regime and will be asked to pay a further unspecified sum in compensation for lost and damaged property including burned synagogues and desecrated cemeteries, it was disclosed today.

A newly formed federal body embracing all Jewish organizations in Austria, meeting today in Salzburg, adopted resolutions calling on the Austrian Government to pay full compensation for damages inflicted by the Nazi regime. For the first time, Austrian Jews, in raising compensation issues, drew attention to the responsibility of Austrian Nazis for the ravaging of the Austrian Jewish community. Formerly, they had placed sole blame on the German Nazis.

The West German Government recently refused, in agreeing to pay compensation to the Jews of Germany and Nazi occupied lands, to include the Jews of Austria on the grounds that Austria had not been occupied by Germany but had had its own Nazi regime.

The Austrian Jewish community is being supported in its compensation claims by the World Jewish Congress, the Jewish Agency, the American Jewish Committee and the Joint Distribution Committee, all of whom had representatives at the Salzburg meeting today. The community, which expects to have close cooperation with all Jewish world organizations, will seek settlement of all pending restitution problems. Opening of talks with the Austrian Government is expected soon.

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