Hannah Lessing Receives Second Highest French Decoration

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (04/01/2009)

Secretary General of the NS Victim’s Fund becomes “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Merite”

Vienna – High honors for the Secretary General of the Republic of Austria’s National Fund and of the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism, Hannah Lessing. She was designated “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Merite” by the French Ambassador. The national service award is considered France’s second highest decoration after membership in the Honored Legion.

The decoration awarded by French President Nicolas Sarkozy was presented in appreciation of Lessing’s services toward Austrian survivors of the Holocaust who are living today in France. Lessing has administered to people who were victims of the NS regimes in Austria and benefitted from the two funds since 1995. She was responsible for the implementation of the Washington Agreement, the goal of which was to take into consideration the material losses which were through previous restitution or indemnification measures never compensated for or were insufficiently compensated for. Of the some 30,000 people who submitted applications, about 300 are currently living in France. Lessing was recently reappointed by President of the National Council Barbara Prammer for the legislative period.