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Welcome to the Department for Restitution Affairs of the Jewish Community Vienna

Since the mid-1990s the Jewish Community Vienna (the IKG Vienna) has dedicated itself extensively to the issues of compensation and restitution of assets seized during the National-Socialist era in tandem with international and Austrian developments concerning the reappraisal of the National-Socialist past.

With the establishment of the Mauerbach Hardship Fund for Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust (Mauerbach-Fonds für bedürftige Überlebende des Holocaust) in 1996, the IKG Vienna began once again to focus more extensively on representing the interests of the Austrian survivors of the Shoah and their descendeants, irrespective of their current place of residence, as it had already done directly after 1945. The Mauerbach Hardship Fund led to the establishment of thousands of contacts with Austrian Holocaust survivors worldwide, which formed the basis of the decision taken in June 1999 by IKG Vienna President Dr. Ariel Muzicant to set up an Information and Support Center for Holocaust victims and their descendants (Anlaufstelle für Jüdische NS-Verfolgte in und aus Österreich und deren Nachkommen). The aim was to provide the victims of the Nazi regime and their descendants with accurate advice on the one hand, and to identify gaps in the Austrian practice of compensation and restitution on the other in order to enforce and/or encourage the enforcement of rights the Shoah survivors and their descendants had been denied up to that point. This aim was successfully met again and again, particularly in the fields of art restitution, in rem restitution and pension issues.

The Information and Support Center was transformed into the Department for Restitution Affairs in January 2009. The concomitant shift in focus toward the restitution of art and real estate has meant the IKG Vienna's continued active involvement in restitution and compensation matters, as well as its representation of the interests of Austrian Shoah survivors and their descendeants.