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

The Victims Welfare Act passed in 1947 distinguished between two groups of victims: those having been solely persecuted by the Nazis and former resistance fighters. Until 1949 merely the former resistance fighters could receive permanent payments. Eventually, former persecuted victims who had not been able to take part in the Austrian resistance, in the majority Jewish, were able to get permanent payments as well if the effects of persecution had undermined their health to such a degree that they were unable to earn a living. The Roma and Sinti, who had been interned in the camp at Lackenbach in today's province of Burgenland, had to wait until 1988 for pensions on the basis of the above law. Persons who had been persecuted because of physical or mental handicaps were granted entitlement only in 1995, but the homosexual or »asocial« victims remained excluded from all benefits of the Victims’ Welfare Act until 2005. Furthermore, those persecuted by the Nazis who had succeeded in escaping abroad and had opted for the citizenship of another country, were excluded from continuous benefit granted by this legislation until 2001.

In the 1950s and early 1960s compensatory payments were issued to persons with respect to the time they had spent in Nazi confinement. Compensation was also given to those who were deprived of freedom of movement, had lost their jobs, or the right to practice their profession. Individuals who had to discontinue their education, were forced to live underground, or to wear the yellow Star of David also received compensations.


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The alliance of the politically persecuted consisting of representatives from the Conservative (ÖVP), Socialist (SPÖ), and Communist (KPÖ) party welcomed in its newspaper »Mahnruf« the new version of the Victims Assistance Act passed in 1947

Ella Lingens Der sozialistische Kämpfer, 1952
Application form of the assistance fund »Der Freiheitskämpfer«

The Victims Welfare Act