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Austria begins Holocaust compensation process

[JURIST] Austria Thursday mailed notifications to the first survivors of the Holocaust [JURIST news archive] eligible for payments in its 2001 General Settlement Fund [text; backgrounder] which compensates victims robbed of businesses, property, bank accounts and insurance policies under the Nazis. So far, 100 of the 19, 300 survivors who have applied for restitution have been notified [press release]. The letters detail how much compensation the victims will receive and on a form that must be signed and returned seek a promise not to sue Austria or Austrian companies that benefited from the stolen property. The first payments are expected to be made within 10 days of receipt of the forms according to the Fund General Secretary Hannah Lessing [official profile]. Andreas Kohl, chairman of the fund's board and Austria's parliament speaker said he will sign another 1,300 letters Monday. Payment distribution had been frozen pending a US class-action lawsuit against Australia but last month, the case was thrown out [JURIST report] by the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals. AP has more.

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