In September, the Austrian federal government decided to provide additional support to all living victims of National Socialism from Austria. By doing so, Austria reaffirms its particular responsibility towards those persecuted by the Nazi regime.
The decision by the federal government goes back to an initiative of the Claims Conference and is the result of joint negotiations between the Claims Conference and the Austrian federal government. The Claims Conference is a nonprofit organization with offices in New York, Israel and Germany that has been working for the material compensation of Holocaust survivors all over the world since 1951.
The decision by the Austrian government envisages a one-time extraordinary ex gratia payment amounting to around 5,000 euros each to all living victims of National Socialism from Austria in accordance with the criteria of the National Fund. It is estimated that a total of around 3,500 to 4,000 people in over 50 countries around the world are eligible to receive this payment. Nazi victims who have already been recognized by the National Fund and received an ex gratia payment need not make another application.
The decision by the federal government also allows for Holocaust survivors from Austria to continue to apply each year for an individual payment from the National Fund is case of social need. Furthermore, the resources of the relief fund set up with the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs, an emergency aid program for Holocaust survivors, are to be topped up, and support for educational projects on Holocaust education is to be increased. Last but not least, following the Hamas terror attack in Israel, the board of trustees of the National Fund approved emergency aid amounting to 150,000 euros to Holocaust survivors from Austria in Israel.