Compensation for Nazi Victims
The Victims Welfare Act
# Restitution and Compensation

Seven restitution acts governed the return of property seized in the period 1938–1945 by the Nazi state, by official authorities, or by individuals. As only pos-sessions or property still existing or retrievable could be returned, restitution of movable objects such as household goods, works of art, books, carpets, furniture, etc. could be made very rarely. Most of these objects had disappeared in any case and entire families had been victims of the Holocaust. Property or assets that were not claimed or where there were no heirs were registered in the »Collection Points« established according to the Austrian State Treaty of 1955. The proceeds were used to aid victims who had survived in Austria. As a consequence of the State Treaty (Article 26), the Austrian Republic urged by the Western Allies had to pay compensation for the discriminatory taxes Jews had been forced to pay  and for the financial assets seized after 1938, such as bank balances and cash. Other measures, however, such as the law to compensate for loss due to the cancellation of life insurance policies, were based on very short deadlines for applications so that victims residing outside Austria heard about their rights in this respect too late, if at all. From 2001 onward, compensation was granted for the first time for firms liquidated by the Nazis and for rented apartments that had been »Aryanized.«


Letter to Heinrich Schnitzler
» click see larger image

Only after lengthy efforts Heinrich Schnitzler, the son of the Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler, was given back his father’s library held in the Austrian National Library.

Brochure of the KPÖ against the restitution legislation Caricature by Heinrich Sussmann
Copy of a Restitution Settlement Notification
»Der sozialistische Kämpfer« Extract from a finding
Application form Screenshot

Restitution and Compensation