Austria Alters Law on Restitution

We urge the global Jewish community to study the case of Stephan Templ [1] as the Austrian government has appeared to alter its laws on restitution through the use of extraordinary discretion. Austria’s actions in this case set a new precedent whereby if currently state-owned property was once looted from your family, Austria will return it to you for free, with no need for application forms, deadlines or anything other than proof of hereditary lineage.

In this case, a Dr Kretschmer had not applied for restitution in time and so according to Austria’s restitution laws, she had missed her chance to be considered eligible for restitution of property that had once belonged to her family. In a show of extraordinary generosity, the State donated its rights to the property to her free of charge. To our knowledge, no other heirs have received such a generous gift and in Dr Kretschmer’s case, it was gifted to her in a secret transfer deed signed by representatives of the Republic of Austria.[2]

Continue reading Austria Alters Law on Restitution

Josh Harle’s Digitization of Vienna’s Stolen Properties

Die Presse reports on Australian artist Josh Harle‘s latest exhibition as part of his tenure as artist-in-residence with the RIAT (Research Institute for Arts &Technology) in MuseumsQuartier.

Josh worked with Stephan to digitally map the locations of the expropriated buildings detailed in Stephan’s co-authored Our Vienna – Aryanisation Austrian style (Aufbau-Verlag, 2001). The book covers the systematic dispossession of Jews in Vienna from 1938 and lists the expropriations, district by district. Now, for the first time, you can see the scale of the theft and how Vienna is littered with properties stolen from their Jewish owners.

Josh will give a workshop at the Coded Cultures festival Vienna during 19-29 May 2016.

Continue reading Josh Harle’s Digitization of Vienna’s Stolen Properties