The projects of the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism are financed from two different sources. There is the budget item "project development", on the one hand, which is indicated in the National Fund Law (BGBl. 432/1995) and, on the other hand, there is money pursuant to the law on allocations to the International Fund for Victims of National Socialism ("Looted Gold" . BGBl. I 182/1998).
as established by decision taken at the Committee meeting on 18 March 2004
Federal Law on the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism:
§ 2 (3):
"The Fund may likewise support projects called into life to aid the victims of National Socialism, to contribute to the scientific research of National Socialism and the fate of its victims , to recall National Socialist injustice or to preserve the memory of its victims."
According to § 2 (1) the National Fund renders benefits to persons
"who were persecuted by the National Socialist regime on political grounds, on grounds of origin, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, on grounds of a physical or mental handicap or on the basis of accusations of so-called asociality, or who in other ways fell victim to typically National Socialist injustice or left the country to escape such persecution."
"Looted Gold": Annex A to the bylaws of the "Nazi Persecutee Relief Fund": Terms of Reference
"The primary purpose of the Fund is to provide resources for the relief of needy victims of Nazi persecution who to date have received very little or no compensation for their persecution, and its subsidiary purpose is to provide resources for other related projects, in particular projects aimed at benefiting the communities most severly affected by Nazi persecution or at preventing similar injustices in the future."
"NGOs will be limited to organizations that (i) provide direct assistance, services or other benefits to victims of Nazi persecution who currently live in difficult financial circumstances; or (ii) engage in related activities, in particular projects aimed at benefiting the communities most severly affected by Nazi persecution or to preventing similar injustices in the future."
"'Victims of Nazi persecution' means those who suffered damage to health or loss of liberty, property, or income as a result of Nazi persecution directed against them."
"'Living in difficult circumstances' means living with an income level or standard of living at or below the official poverty line in the country in which the individual permanently resides."
The government bill on a federal law concerning the allocation of funds to the International Fund for Victims of National Socialism states as follows:
"Annex A (Terms of Reference) is the actual core element of the bylaws. It establishes that the Fund is founded in order to support needy victims of the National Socialist regime, who have not received any or only a very small compensation. Moreover, relevant projects can also be financed."
The Federal Law concerning the Allocation of Funds to the International Fund for Victims of National Socialism continues to state the following:
§ 2 (2):
"The National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism shall be regarded as the legal subject to which the money shall accrue that has been paid into the International Fund for Victims of National Socialism. The National Fund shall use these resources in keeping with the provisions of the Federal Law on the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, BGBl. 432/1995, in the respectively applicable version, as well as in line with the bylaws of the International Fund for Victims of National 'Socialism."
In accordance with the Federal Law on the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, the National Fund can support the different projects by one-time-only or recurrent financial benefits. The National Fund shall act as a co-sponsor in more or less all projects. In specific cases, and especially in the case of small projects, the Fund may act as the sole sponsor of a project.
A very broad and deliberately non-limiting definition was chosen for the law. As a result, the National Fund can actually support all projects that are of benefit to the victims of National Socialism in many ways. The support shall be given in the form that best corresponds to the needs of the persons concerned. From the "looted gold funds" individual payments were therefore made to survivors, as is provided by the "Terms of Reference" in Annex A.
1. Socio-Medical Projects:
As long as there are survivors, the National Fund should focus its attention on supporting projects that directly benefit these persons. On the basis of its practical work, obtained in the course of many years, it is the experience of the National Fund that projects with a social, medical and socio-medical content are of direct benefit to Austrian survivors living abroad or victims of National Socialism living in Austria and therefore have top priority (e.g. Esra, Amcha, senior-citizens' homes).
A very important aspect is to remenber and to commemorate the victims of National Socialism. Projects in this connection may be signs of commemoration or various forms of memorial events (building memorial sites such as, for example, in Riga, Vilnius, Tallin) or cultural events in the fields of theater (Spiegelgrund), documentaries (Spurensuche einer Roma: "Eine lästige Gesellschaft" - A Roma looking for her traces: "Such a troublesome society"), music (The Song of Terezin), the fine arts (Friedl Dicker-Brandeis - Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles) that are suited to continue remembering the victims and to preserve and/or to reflect on the recollections of the National Socialist injustice
3. School/Educational Projects:
The projects supported by the National Fund should reflect the remembering both with regard to the substance of these recollections and the manifestation of these recollections. The idea is, in particulat, to support educational projects (school and adult-education projects - How to teach Holocaust) or projects that support the educational system by helping teachers or adult-education instructors to address the issue of National Socialist injustice, as well as to continue remembering those who became victims of this injustice, for example by seminars for teachers dealing with the subject of National Socialist persecution - together with the topic of victims of National Socialism - and how to communicate it to the next generation of Austrians in a future-oriented form, by discussing National Socialist injustice ("making the voices of victims heard").
4. Scientific Projects:
Another priority are projects that serve to conduct scientific research into National Socialism and the destinies of its victims. In this context, the projects to be mainly supported relate to research into the National Socialist persecution measures of which Austrians became victims, or projects that deal, in particular, with the victims' perspective (studies in archives, publications, events).
In the future the National Fund shall not support projects that concern a construction project or the provision of equipment and furniture. Memorial sites are exceptions (such as, for example, the memorial site in Riga, the memorial temple at Seitenstättengasse). For these projects, the co- financing and complete funding are of particular importance and are therefore examined with particular care.
Applying for grants:
The person conducting a project or filing the application for a grant must submit an appropriate and understandable description of the project in written form. Ideally, it should be accompanied by a schedule and a financial plan, it should list the complete funding and the co-sponsors of the submitted project. Generally speaking, only those projects can be funded for which one may expect a timely implementation, based on their schedule and financial plan.
Approval requirements for projects receiving National Fund support:
Every project must first be submitted for approval to the Committe and then to the Board of Curators for its decision. Once a project has been approved, the project department of the General Secretariat sends the applicant a project contract, together with the letter informing him/her of the grant. The project applucant must return the contract duly signed . The grant will be paid out only after this step.
Applicants undertake to carry the logo of the National Fund in connection with the project in order to indicate the support given by the National Fund.
Once a project supported by the National Fund has been completed, the person responsible for the project must submit proper accounts that indicate that the grant was used according to plan.
The work of the National Fund regarding projects is not only acknowledged by the persons concerned, as well as by many organizations. It is also duly recognized by the bodies of the Nazi Persecutee Relief Fund and by its annual meetings, as well as by the plenary sessions of the ITF - "Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research."
Vienna, 21 October 2003