lady painting

 

Jun 2002 Journal

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Austrian officials give details of General Settlement Fund

'Austria has a collective responsibility, not a collective guilt', the Austrian Ambassador told Holocaust survivors and refugees at meetings in Manchester and London. His Excellency Alexandra Christiani spoke frankly of the enormous difficulties and challenges, past and present alike, Austria faced, and expressed the hope that the new General Settlement Fund would in some small way provide assistance to Austrian victims of the Nazis.

Hannah Lessing, General Secretary of the Austrian National Fund for Victims of Nazism, which administers the General Settlement Fund, gave an historical overview of Austria's handling of compensation issues, both in the formative years after the war and more recently. She also provided a detailed explanation of the comprehensive compensation package offered by the Austrian government, banks and businesses. In an emotionally charged atmosphere, Ms Lessing also responded to enquiries ranging from the restitution of assets declared in 1938 at the Viennese Dorotheum to the fundamental questions of how much each applicant is likely to receive and when.

The meetings were attended by a total of over 1,000 people and provided an opportunity for the AJR successfully to disseminate information as well as identify and enrol new members.

Information about the General Settlement Fund and other Austrian reparations and details of how to apply are available from the Central Office for Holocaust Claims on 020 7431 6161 or by visiting the AJR website.
Michael Newman

previous article:Cross, Crescent and Star of David
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