Restitution: City Investigates Real Estate

Late Review of Dubious Real Estate Businesses During Nazi Times

Kurier (01/3/03)

The City of Vienna will investigate the sources of all public property it owns which possibly was acquired illegally during NS times. The decision to finance the project was unanimously approved by the City Council. Approximately € 451,000 will be made available for a research project entitled “Scientific Documentation of Property in the Possession of the City of Vienna/ Municipality of Vienna.”

Some 65,000 pieces of real estate will be researched by the Historical Commission, claimed the research coordinator, Eva Blimlinger. Important is not only the question of restitution but also the type of restitution. Restitution representative, Kurt Scholz, referred to numerous grievances of injustice voiced regarding the return of confiscated property.

“Questions of compensation were always dealt with when there was international pressure,” admits Scholz, referring to the failures of the past. But this time the City is authorizing an investigation without any pressure from the outside.

Scholz considers genuine compensation to be impossible. Payment for loss of a furnished apartment comes to $ 7,000. The investigation will be brought to a close in one year. The final report will be published on the internet.

Restitution Currently 23,400 purchases by the City during the times were investigated. Some 2,500 objects have been already returned. It is often difficult, however, to find the legitimate heirs.

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