Please note: This program is now closed.
Following Germany’s example in grappling with the issue of compensating former slave and forced laborers under the Nazis, the Austrian government commissioned historians to research slave and forced labor in Austria during World War II. Their reports were issued in 2000: www.historikerkommission.gv.at
In November of that year, the Austrian parliament approved a fund entitled “Austrian Fund for Reconciliation, Peace and Cooperation.” The estimated number of survivors eligible for compensation under this law is 150,000, of whom roughly 10,000 are Jewish (Austrian and non-Austrian). The fund’s assets, shared by the Republic and Austrian industry, come to ATS 6 billion (about $420 million).
Former inmates of Mauthausen and its sub-camps, as well as Dachau sub-camps in Austria, were paid by the German Foundation, “Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future.”
The deadline to apply was December 31, 2003.
The following persons were eligible for payment:
Former slave laborers: Those forced to perform labor in camps similar to concentration camps under inhumane conditions on the territory of present-day Austria (i.e. Hungarian Jews who were deported to Austria in 1944 and 1945 and made to work in Vienna or on the “Southeast Rampart Construction”). Payment was €7,631.
Former forced laborers: Individuals who were forced by the National Socialist regime to work in industry or agriculture on the territory of present-day Austria. Former forced laborers in industry received €2,544, and those in agriculture received €1,453.
Hardship cases: Those suffering from long-lasting physical or psychological injuries as a result of the work they performed were considered for an additional payment as special hardship cases.
Mothers: Women who during their time as forced laborers gave birth to children in maternity facilities for Eastern workers (Ostarbeiterinnen-Entbindungsheime) or who were forced to undergo abortions may have been eligible for an additional payment of €363.
Children: Children and minors who were under age 12 and who were deported together with one or both parents may be eligible for payment, as long as at least one parent was a forced laborer. In addition, children who were born in Austria while the mother was a forced laborer may have been eligible for payment. Children received the same payment as their parents, or the sum that their parent would have received as a former slave or forced laborer. Heirs of victims may have been eligible if the victim died on or after February 16, 2000.
Prisoners of war and military internees were not eligible.
For More Information:
Austrian Reconciliation Fund
P.O. Box 44, A-1011 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: (43-1) 513-6016
Fax: (43-1) 513-6016-15
The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide.The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies or governments mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and recipients are urged to seek individual advice.Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date. Updated January 2005