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News Brief

December 10, 1947
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The Vienna municipality is re-examining Jews who obtained all post-war transfers of property to victims of the Nazis and, in many cases, is ##ring Jewish property returned to the same Nazis who seized it from Jews during the ##ler regime, it was revealed by David Brill, president of the Vienna Jewish Com## Council.

Former Nazis, who fled Vienna after the liberation of the city, are now returning to the Austrian capital and are receiving the apartments and the furniture ## they “Aryanized” under the Nazi regime, but which was given by the Red Army, th## the municipality, to victims of the Nazi regime, he declared.

A typical case is Dr. Brill’s own situation. He received from the municipality ##ure which was confiscated by the Russians from a Nazi leader, Karl Lesniak, who ##rested after the liberation. Now the municipality has notified Dr. Brill that ##return the furniture to Lesniak, although the latter acquired the furniture ##s apartment from a Jew whose property he “aryanized” during the Nazi regime.Another aspect of the restitution problem which is causing some concern among ##whose property was acquired by Nazis, either forcibly or under duress, is the ## on repartions taken by Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov at the London Conference of Foreign Ministers.

The Jews fear that Molotov’s stand may bar the return of their property to them, since the Soviet Foreign Minister is insisting that property acquired by Ger## during the Nazi regime must be considered German assets and thus subject to sei## by the Soviet authorities as reparations.

Dr. Brill, in an interview today, declared that Jewish leaders in Austria do ## recognize the Soviet standpoint whose wording is not clear.” He added that up to now the Russian authorities in Austria have agreed to return Nazi-confiscated Jewish property only in cases where it was established that the Jews received no payment from the Germans to whom the property was transferred.

“There is lack of clear differentiation between Aryanized and non-Aryanized property,” the Jewish Community president emphasized. He revealed that a delegation of the Jewish community has made several visits to the Soviet authorities in Vienna ## presented the Jewish viewpoint. General V.I. Borisov, he said, was friendly ## promised an investigation into individual cases, but refused to commit himself ## a general statement of the Soviet policy with regard to restitution of confiscated ##wish property. “Under such a procedure we cannot go far,” Dr. Brill pointed out.

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