U.S.-Austrian Agreements on Restitution and Labor
Agreements reached in October 2000 and January 2001 have led to the creation in Austria of two funds to make payments to certain holders of Holocaust-era claims: the Reconciliation Fund and the General Settlement Fund. Participants in discussions leading to these agreements included Austrian companies, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, including representatives from Israel, the Austrian Jewish Community, and plaintiff's attorneys who filed lawsuits seeking compensation on Nazi-era claims.
The General Settlement Fund (GSF) of $360 million is funded by the Austrian Government and Austrian private sector. Once certain lawsuits related to Holocaust claims are dismissed in United States courts, the GSF will begin to make payments. Payments from the GSF will cover a variety of property losses, including the non-payment of insurance policies. With one exception, the deadline for filing claims has passed, but one should contact either the Claims Conference or the Austrian authorities to obtain information on filing dates. Information on the GSF can be found at the following web site:
The Reconciliation Fund was created as a result of the October 2000 agreement and provides payments to certain slave laborers and forced laborers in Austria during the Nazi era. The filing period for this fund has passed. The following links to Web sites provide additional information:
In addition, in October 2000, the Austrian Government agreed to provide $150 million to ensure that each Austrian Holocaust survivor will receive $7,000 as an ex gratia payment for losses related to leased apartments, businesses and related property. The deadline for filing for such payments expired on March 31, 2004.
Victims of National Socialism who were citizens or residents of Austria during the Holocaust era should go the Austrian Government's Web site in the United States for more information regarding this and other compensation programs.