The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/austria/press/compensation-fund-1995

Archive/File: pub/places/austria/press/compensation-fund-1995
Last-Modified: 1995/08/10

	 NEW YORK (Reuter) - An Austrian plan to compensate Nazi
victims will not be limited to the $50 million authorized by
Austria's parliament but will be open-ended, according to a
letter from Chancellor Franz Vranitzky made public Tuesday.
	 When the parliament voted to end a controversial chapter in
Austrian history last June by paying compensation to an
estimated 30,000 people, the leftwing Green Party and Jewish
groups criticized the fund as being too little, too late.
	 But in a letter dated Aug. 14 to World Jewish Congress
President Edgar Bronfman, Vranitzky said the compensation fund
''has been provided with an initial capital of 500 million
shillings ($50 million) and is open-ended. As soon as this
amount is used up, new payments will be made into the fund.''
	 In the letter released by the New York-based WJC, he said
the fund represented a ``reaching out by the Austria of today to
those Austrians who were forced to leave by national
socialism.... It is to show that these people have not been
forgotten and that they are still an essential part of the ...
new Austria.
	 ``...What happened between 1938 and 1945 cannot be mended.
Nobody can make the inexpressible suffering and the losses
undone or give back the lost days of life,'' he said.
	 He pledged that the fund ``will be set up in a very
unbureaucratic and flexible manner ...''
	 Austria had long resisted the idea of paying compensation
for Nazi victims because it argued that the country had been
invaded by the Germans and was Hitler's first victim. But in
1993, Vranitzky, on a visit to Israel, said Austrians were not
only victims but were also ``willing servants of Nazism'' and
Austria's parliament later approved the fund.

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