Federal Chancellor Schüssel Awarded Stuart Eizenstat The Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold

Original Text Service (OTS) (05/03/05)

Vienna - Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel bestowed the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold upon former U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and diplomat, Stuart Eizenstat. In his capacity as Special Representative for Holocaust Issues, Eizenstat was instrumental in bringing about the Austrian Reconciliation Fund that came into existence in the year 2000.? "Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Second Republic, the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps. It is a year of reflection and it is the right moment to celebrate once again with Stuart Eizenstat the realization of the Reconciliation Fund," said Schüssel in his eulogy. He emphasized Stuart Eizenstat’s landmark efforts in achieving late justice for the victims of National Socialism.

Chancellor Schüssel recalled the infinite number of negotiations that finally led to the successful conclusion of the Reconciliation Fund. With the Washington Agreement that transpired with the help of Eizenstat, the essential gaps in post-war Austrian legislation were closed. The Federal Chancellor said: "During this time, Stuart Eizenstat revealed not only his fine diplomatic and legal skills, but also his tremendously dedicated commitment to the difficult issues involving restitution. Together we succeeded in changing the myth that everything possible was done which could have been done for the victims and forced laborers."

*Some 30,000 victims from 78 countries have been compensated over the past ten years. In addition, humanitarian as well as research projects are also continuing to be financed.