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Austrian Remembrance Grant

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Anschluss the Austrian government has announced it will make a one-time €1,000 (approximately £800) Remembrance Grant to certain Austrian Holocaust victims.

Eligibility is restricted to those who have an Austrian Victim’s Identity Card (Opferausweis or Amtsbescheinigung), those who have a Liberation Medal and those who have received certain ‘support benefits’ from the Austrian National Fund. You are also entitled to receive the Remembrance Grant if you are in receipt of a victim’s pension (Opferrente) (NB. This is not the same as the pension paid by the Pensionsversicherungsanstalt).

To be entitled to receive an Opferausweis you must have been imprisoned for a minimum of three months or been forced to leave Austria for more than three and a half years having been a victim of Nazi persecution. To receive the Amtsbescheinigung you must demonstrate that you were in prison for at least one year or been incarcerated in a concentration camp for a minimum of six months.

For both, you must also hold current Austrian citizenship. If you are interested in applying for Austrian citizenship you should contact the Austrian embassy on 020 7344 3266. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that you lived in Austrian between 1918-1938 or that your Father held Austrian citizenship during this time. As well as completing the application form, you will need to supply, as far as it is possible, copies of relevant documents such as your birth certificate, proof of your Father’s residency – and citizenship – in Austria and your marriage certificate (for women who may have changed their name). You must also submit a copy of the photograph page in your current passport photograph.

To find out if you are entitled for the Remembrance Grant you can also contact the City of Vienna, MA 40, Victims’ Welfare on 0043-1-4000-40782 (contact address: Thomas Klestil-Platz 8/2, 1030 Vienna, Austria). Depending on your wartime experiences the Victims’ Welfare department will send you a letter confirming your entitlement to the Remembrance Grant.

The deadline to apply for Opferausweis, Amtsbescheinigung or Opferrente is 31 December 2008. The deadline to apply for the Remembrance Grant is 7 May 2009.