Schüssel: Additional Payments for Victims of National Socialism

Federal Chancellery Austria (05/18/05)

After the Council of Ministers meeting today, Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel presented a comprehensive package of compensation and other measures for the victims of National Socialism. Among other things, this package provides for the annulment of NS court rulings. Mr. Schüssel explained that this did not mean amnesty but rather a basic cancellation of all NS verdicts.

A further point was a widening of scope on the Act Regarding Victims’ Welfare. Persons who were persecuted during the NS era for their sexual orientation or were considered "asocial," those who became victims of medical experiments or were subjected to sterilization will now also receive financial compensation. Applications for restitution claims must be submitted to the Ministry for Social Affairs. "As we have addressed the issue of NS injustice in the past by offering restitution to forced laborers who suffered under the Nazis, we will remedy this injustice by doing likewise," said the Chancellor.

A decision was also made for a one-time payment to be allotted to resistance fighters and victims of persecution. Based upon income, these payments range between 500 and 1,000 Euros. Financial payments to the widows of disabled war veterans will also be improved upon with a budget of 4 million Euros. Upon the initiative of the Minister of Social Affairs, about 15 million Euros will be appropriated for 50,000 so-called "Trümmerfrauen" or "rubble women," who will also receive one-time payments.