Various initiatives began during Kurt Waldheim’s controversial presidency (1986-1991) on the question of what could still be done for surviving Austrian Nazi victims. Procedures began in the Austrian Parliament to emphasize Austria’s responsibility for Nazi crimes perpetrated on some of its citizens.
The 2nd National President of Parliament, People’s Party member Heinrich Neisser, made an appeal for a fund to benefit all Austrian Nazi victims, regardless of financial need. A payment of ATS 70,000 (€5,087) for each eligible victim was approved through the Federal Law on the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism (Nationalfonds der Republik Oesterreich fuer Opfer des Nationalsozialismus).
In September 1995, the Claims Conference lobbied for an additional payment for hardship cases, which was also approved.
About 28,500 Austrian survivors worldwide, 80 to 85 percent of them Jewish, have received this original payment from the fund, for a total of €156 million.
Supplemental Payment: Closed to Claims – Application Deadline was June 30, 2004
Under the 2001 agreement, each of the estimated 20,000 surviving former Austrian Jews was to receive $7,000 for loss of rental apartments, business leases, household furniture and personal belongings. The results of the Austrian Historical Commission research on rental apartments greatly facilitated this agreement. Approximately 20,500 supplemental payments have been made, for a total of approximately $143.5 million.
In 2004, due to Claims Conference calls for payments to begin from the Austrian General Settlement Fund, the Austrian parliament agreed to pay each recipient of the supplemental National Fund payment an additional €1,000.
Austrian citizens on March 13, 1938; permanent residents from 1928 to 1938, or child of such; or child born in a concentration (or concentration-like) camp in Austria of parents of Austrian citizens or 10-year residents. Some residency leeway may apply.
Based on the international Tripartite Gold Commission, wherein Austria had claims to gold looted by the Nazis, the Austrian government donated its share to a fund to assist victims of National Socialism.
Approximately $10 million, administered by the Austrian National Fund, has benefited various individuals and institutions in Austria, Eastern Europe and Israel by providing assistance to Holocaust victims.
Individuals meeting more relaxed criteria of the Austrian National Fund (i.e. the ATS 70,000 payments) are eligible, i.e. persons having less than a 10-year residence in Austria prior to the Anschluss, or who had no fixed residence on March 13, 1938, or who are living in need and have not yet received any benefits.
Organizations that have benefited from the Fund include the Central Committee of Jews From Austria in Israel, under the direction of Gideon Eckhaus; AMCHA, an institution that provides psychological assistance to Holocaust survivors in Israel; and the Federation of Austrian Jewish Communities.
To contact the Austrian National Fund:
Nationalfonds der Republik Oesterreich
Parliament, A-1017 Vienna, Austria
Tel:(43-1) 408-1263 or 408-1264
Fax: (43-1) 408-0389
The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide. The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies or governments mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and recipients are urged to seek individual advice. Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date. Updated 2013