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Press Release Decision No. 755/2011

Vienna, Rodaun

On 28 June 2011, the Arbitration Panel for In Rem Restitution rejected an application for restitution of three properties in the Viennese cadastral district of Rodaun which were owned by the City of Vienna on the cut off day, 17 January 2001. One property had been subjected to a forced auction during the National Socialist era, the other two had been forfeited to the German Reich. After the Second World War, the heirs of the aggrieved owner concluded a settlement regarding the first property; the two forfeited properties were restituted to them. As a result of these prior measures, the Arbitration Panel was unable to recommend their restitution.

After the Anschluss, the Viennese lawyer Paul E., who had owned, in addition to other properties, several undeveloped parcels in Rodaun in the 23rd District of Vienna, was persecuted for being Jewish. He fled to France, where he died in Nice in 1940. One of the properties was sold at a forced auction in 1940 for 7,050 Reichsmark to pay his tax arrears. The other two were forfeited to the German Reich on the basis of the Elfte Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz ("Eleventh Ordinance to the Reich Citizenship Law").

In March 1948, the trustee of Paul E.'s estate filed claims with the Financial Directorate for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland for the restitution of several properties, including the two properties in Rodaun which had been forfeited to the German Reich. The Financial Directorate granted the claim on 18 April 1950 and restituted them to the heirs of Paul E. to whom the estate had been devolved in the meantime, his brother Hans E. and his niece Renée D.

On 16 December 1949, Hans E. and Renée D. had reached an agreement with the wife and sole heir of the acquirer of the property sold at auction. They waived the restitution of the property in exchange for a payment of 6,500 Schilling. The City of Vienna purchased the three properties in 1953 and 1962.

One of Hans E.'s sons now requested their restitution from the Arbitration Panel. However, if properties have already been restituted once or were the subject of a settlement by agreement, pursuant to Sec. 32 (1) of the Entschädigungsfondsgesetz ("General Settlement Fund Law") the Arbitration Panel is fundamentally precluded from recommending in rem restitution. Furthermore, the applicant did not assert that the decision of the Financial Directorate or the settlement before the Restitution Commission constituted an extreme injustice. The application was therefore rejected.

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