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Senate Hears Lehman’s Plea on Claims of Nazi Victims from Austria

June 22, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In the wake of Senate ratification of the Austrian State Treaty, the attention of authorities was called to the claims of Nazi victims in and from Austria by New York Senator Herbert H. Lehman. Speaking in the Senate, Senator Lehman said:

“The victims of Nazi persecution in and from Austria should be properly compensated for the losses they suffered. This view was shared by the Department of State when it advised me on May 10 that it agreed with me as to the wisdom of concluding a satisfactory agreement on the subject of these claims before the State Treaty is presented to the Senate for ratification.”

“I believe that I properly reflect the sentiments of the Senate, as many distinguished members have expressed the same deep concern for the need to rectify the injustices which arose in consequence of the Anschluss and Nazi action in Austria, when I reiterate that we would have been pleased to record on the occasion of the consideration of the Austrian State Treaty that a satisfactory agreement had been reached between the Austrian Government and the interested organizations with respect to the claims of Nazi victims.

“I regret very much that we cannot at this time report that the negotiations in this respect have been concluded. I understand, however, that negotiations are in progress and that the Austrian Government has indicated a readiness to consider measures which may meet the minimum needs of victims of Nazi persecution. This matter affects very deeply tens of thousands of victims of Nazi persecution from Austria who found a haven in the United States, many of whom are of advanced age and destitute.

“The treaty deals with certain aspects of this problem in Article 26. We understand this article to mean that Austria is committed to maintain and fully implement such legislation which is presently in force. The existing legislation, however, is highly deficient in failing to provide minimal compensation for a wide range of losses and damages suffered in consequence of Nazi persecution.”

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