Historikerkommission der Republik Österreich
[Austrian Historical Commission]
In October 1998, the Austrian government established a six-member commission of historians to study all aspects of the country's restitution efforts to victims of the Nazi era. The commission’s mandate is to investigate "dispossession of property on the territory of the Republic" and issues of restoration and compensation, including economic and social efforts by Austria after 1945.
Mag. Eva Blimlinger
Nottendorfer Gasse 2
Telephone: +43 1 795 40 DW 180
Fax: +43 1 795 40 DW 186
More information on the commission, its working program, progress reports, members, and press releases can be found at http://www.historikerkommission.gv.at.
[Commission for the Investigation of Provenance of Art Objects of the Federal Ministry for Education and Culture of Austria]
Austrian Federal Minister Elizabeth Gehrer initiated the commission in March 1998 to research historical material on the looting of works of art and their restitution. Members of this commission include representatives from the relevant Federal museums, the Austrian National Library, and the Federal Memorial Office. Professor Dr. Ernst Bacher coordinates the scholarly research.
Dr. Ernst Bacher
Kommission für Provenienzforschung
Telephone: +43 1 534 15 201
Fax: +43 1 534 15 252
Allgemeiner Entschädigungsfonds für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus
[General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism]
In February 2001, the Austrian Parliament unanimously adopted the Federal Law on the Establishment of a General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism. The fund will be endowed with US$210 million provided by the Republic of Austria and Austrian companies.
The deadline for submitting applications to the claims committee awarding payments for losses or damages of property is May 28, 2003.
Applications to the Arbitration Panel for in rem restitution of real estate are due October 5, 2003.
Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich
[National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism]
On June 1, 1995, the Austrian Parliament adopted the Federal Law on the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.
Payments are being made to
- victims of National Socialism who were persecuted for political opinion, religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, or reproach of so-called asociality; or
- other victims of typical Nazi injustice; or
- persons who were forced to leave the country in order to escape persecution; and
- who were citizens of the Federal Republic of Austria and resident in Austria on March 13, 1938, or
- who had been resident in Austria for an uninterrupted period of ten years prior to March 13, 1938, or were born in Austria as children of such persons during that period; or
- who lost their status as Austrian citizens or as persons who had been resident for at least ten years prior to March 13, 1938, because they had left the country in light of the impending entry of the German armed forces into Austria; or
- who were born as children of such persons in concentration camps or similar circumstances (e.g., ghetto, internment camp) prior to May 9, 1945.
There is no application deadline for this payment. "Hardship" payments based on financial need are also available.
The National Fund also participates in projects that aid communities persecuted by the National Socialists.
Hannah M. Lessing
Secretary General of the National Fund
Dr. Karl-Renner-Ring 3
Telephone: +43 1 408 12 63
Fax: +43 1 310 00 89
Österreichischer Fonds für Versöhnung, Frieden, und Zusammenarbeit
[Austrian Fund for Reconciliation, Peace, and Cooperation]
The Austrian Fund for Reconciliation, Peace, and Cooperation was created on December 20, 2000. Its purpose is to make payments to former slave and forced laborers of the National Socialist regime in the territory of present-day Austria.
Persons who were deported or who arrived voluntarily and were then denied permission to return to their home country, and who were forced to endure poor living conditions and prisonlike accommodation or similar restrictions on personal freedom of movement, are entitled to compensation payments.
The fund has been set up for a period of three years and is expected to make payments to an estimated 150,000 eligible persons. The deadline for filing applications is November 27, 2002.
Ambassador Dr. Ludwig Steiner, Chairperson
Telephone: +43 1 513 60 16
Fax: +43 1 513 60 16 15
Mauerbach-Fonds für Bedürftigte Jüdische Überlebende des Holocaust in und aus Österreich
[Mauerbach Fund for Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust within and outside of Austria]
In October 1996, artworks that had been seized by the National Socialists and whose former owners could not be identified were sold on behalf of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Austria at the so-called Mauerbach Benefit Sale. In compliance with Austrian legislation, 88 percent of the net proceeds are being used by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Austria to benefit needy Jewish survivors of the Holocaust in and from Austria.
The deadline for submitting most applications has expired.
However, Austrian Holocaust victims currently residing in Austria may still send in applications. In this case, the deadline for the filing is March 2003.
Anlaufstelle - Mauerbach Fund
Desider Friedmann-Platz 1
Telephone: +43 1 53104 201
+43 1 53104 202
Fax: +43 1 531 04 219
[Austrian Victim Services Law]
Pursuant to a law originally passed in 1947, Holocaust victims possessing Austrian citizenship, including those who have returned to Austria, can apply for a certificate of victim status. In March 2002, this law was extended to those who held Austrian citizenship at one time and had emigrated elsewhere. Financial compensation may be awarded in individual cases.
Magistratsabteilung 12 - Referat Opferfürsorge
Telephone: +43 1 531 14 853 76
+43 1 531 14 853 79
Fax: +43 1 531 14 998 52 15
Austrian Bank Fund
The Austrian Bank Fund was created to benefit Holocaust survivors (or their heirs) who were persecuted by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1946 because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, political belief, sexual orientation, or disability—and who were damaged directly or indirectly by Bank Austria or Creditanstalt, such as through lost, stolen, or confiscated assets.
Although approved in January 2000, the US$40 million fund became fully effective only as of August 2001. The deadline for submitting claims was May 31, 2000.
Austrian Postsparkasse — Historikerbericht
[Austrian Postal Savings Bank — Historical Report]
The Board of the Österreichische Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft (PSK) established a commission under the leadership of contemporary historian Dr. Oliver Rathkolb. The purpose of the commission was to research the history of the seizure and forced integration of the Österreichische Postsparkasse into the German Reichspost and its subsequent expropriation of assets of Jewish clients. This research focused on victims of National Socialism and the fate of their assets held during the period between 1938 and 1945. The commission submitted its final report in February 2000.
Claims regarding confiscated or looted savings accounts with Austrian Postsparkasse are covered by the General Settlement Fund.
Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG
Supported by an independent team of historians at the University of Vienna, Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG ("Erste Bank") has made efforts in the past few years to analyse its role during the Nazi era (1938–1945) and to search for dormant accounts of its former Jewish clients. From the archives of the former branches of DIE ERSTE Österreichische Spar-Casse, a total of 199 savings accounts have been identified as dormant accounts of Jewish account holders. Claims regarding confiscated or looted savings accounts with DIE ERSTE Österreichische Spar-Casse not listed in the report are covered by the General Settlement Fund.
The deadline for filing a claim is June 30, 2003.
Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG
Code: "Historikerbericht – Dormant Accounts?
A-1010 Wien, Österreich
Pension Insurance and Nursing Care Payments/Pflegegeld
On the basis of the Austrian Social Security Act, victims of Nazi persecution may qualify for an Austrian pension by paying retroactive contributions at a reduced rate, provided they resided in Austria on March 12, 1938, and were born on or before March 12, 1938.
Austrian victims of Nazi persecution receiving an Austrian pension may be eligible for nursing care payments/Pflegegeld depending on the category of care, with "7" being the highest need.
Pensionsversicherungsanstalt der Angestellten
Friedrich Hillegeist-Strasse 1
Telephone: +43 1 211 35 0
Fax: +43 1 211 35 25 949
Sozialversicherungsanstalt der gewerblichen Wirtschaft
Wiedner Hauptstraße 84-86
Telephone:+43 1 54 654 0
Fax: +43 1 54 654 385
Historical Museum of Vienna Restitution Project
On April 29, 1999, the Viennese City Council agreed to restore to their original owners or legal successors art and cultural objects that were purchased or stolen during the Nazi era.
The Historical Museum of Vienna has posted a list of 148 objects that were acquired by it during the Nazi era on its Web site. The museum asks that those legally entitled to the objects send the appropriate documentation to the Historical Museum.
Dr. Peter Eppel
Historical Museum of Vienna
1040 Vienna, Austria
Telephone: +43 1 505 87 47/84034
Fax: +43 1 505 87 47/7201
Austria participated in the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets. Proceedings of the Washington Conference may be found at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/holocaust/heac.html.
Austria participated in the London Conference on Nazi Gold.
Austria participated in the Vilnius International Forum on Holocaust Era Looted Cultural Assets. Proceedings of the Forum can be found at http://www.vilniusforum.lt.