Insurance policies (§ 14 item 5 of the General Settlement Fund Law)
Subject to the General Settlement Fund Law, the Austrian Insurance Association (VVO) is obligated - as far as available - to publish lists of policy holders which may be victims of National Socialist property confiscation. Here you will find the according list as well as the explanatory text of the VVO:
The Austrian Insurance Association (VVO) and its member companies regret the atrocities of the NS period and are aware of the general injustice of the Dritte Reich and the regime's racial legislation that was contrary to human rights and directed against Jews and other persons. As a result of this injustice, the legal title from insurance contracts, especially of Austrian citizens of Jewish origin, was restricted or withdrawn. Although there were compensation measures on a statutory and voluntary basis after 1945, it was the General Settlement Fund Law of 2001 that created the legal basis for dealing with the still open financial claims of Holocaust victims.
In line with the moral responsibility of Austria for the injustice of the NS period, the more than seventy member companies of the VVO passed a unanimous resolution at the extraordinary meeting of its members in Vienna in April 2001, at which the only item on the agenda was the matter of paying a solidarity contribution into the General Settlement Fund (in brief: the Fund) in the amount of USD 25 million.
The Austrian Insurance Association thanks the Fund for having assumed the task of processing the financial claims of victims and their heirs. The Association also thanks the Fund for the possibility of featuring the list of potential victims given below, on the Fund web site. As a result, the obligation under § 18 (4) of the General Settlement Fund Law is also fulfilled, namely to make lists of policy holders, who may be victims of National Socialism, generally accessible.
The standards for publishing lists are guided by those of the International Commission of Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). Please understand that it must be pointed out that no legal title to compensation accrues on account of the fact that the name of a former policy holder appears on the list. It is up to the independent Claims Committee of the Fund to decide such matters. With their payments to the Fund and the publication of the lists, the member companies of the Association also take account of the concerns of those US states that have enacted "Holocaust Victims Insurance Acts".
Comments on the Data Sets
The list below is based on the "List of Property Items held by Jews on 27 April 1938" (Vermögensanmeldung). Jews owning more than 5,000 Reichsmark had to complete such a declaration.
One of the categories of property in that form related to "Claims from life, capital and annuity insurance policies which are not yet due and must be calculated at 2/3 of the premiums paid or of the contributed capital or of the surrender value". The original documents are in the archives of the Republic of Austria (Austrian State Archives) in Vienna (please also visit the homepage of the Austrian State Archives at www.oesta.gv.at). To the extent possible from a technical viewpoint, the documents were transferred to data carriers and forwarded to ICHEIC. As a result, the list below does not contain any information on insurance policies in fields of insurance other than the ones indicated above.
The VVO will continue to make efforts to supplement the available list. At the same time, the Austrian insurance industry would like to convey its regret to those victims and their heirs who cannot be given the information that they may have expected. Many documents were destroyed during the last days of the war or immediately afterwards. As you no doubt know, in April 1945 considerable fighting took place in Vienna, where most insurance companies had their headquarters.
The list is structured in the alphabetical order of the names of the persons required to make a property declaration. As a rule, they were also the policy holders. The year of birth is shown behind the name. The address is shown in the second column, together with the file number of the property declaration . The third column indicates the name of the undertaking of the insured person of the insurer as given in the property declaration (gross spelling errors were corrected). The last column indicates the policy number, or numbers in the event that the person concerned held several insurance contracts.
It is stated, in agreement with the Fund, that no title to compensation of any kind accrues to a policy holder under the General Settlement Fund Law or vis-à-vis an insurance company or its legal successor or the VVO, on account of the fact that his or her name is shown in the list below. Please refer to the other pages of the Fund's web site concerning the procedure to follow in order to file an application, as well as for detailed information about the General Settlement Fund Law.
Since the National Socialist property declarations from the year 1938, as well as other documents relating to the income and property situation of possible victims of National Socialism may contain errors, which may also have occurred when processing the material for publication, no liability can be assumed for the correctness or completeness of the lists.
Die österreichischen Lebensversicherungen und die NS-Zeit
Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, politischer Einfluß, jüdische Polizzen
(Austrian Life Insurance Policies and the NS Period
Economic Development, Political Influence, Jewish Policies)
Böhlau, Vienna, 2001. Appr. 256 pages. ISBN 3-205-99418-3.
(The book comprises an English summary.)
Address of the Austrian Insurance Association
Verband der Versicherungsunternehmen Österreichs
(Austrian Insurance Association)
A-1030 Vienna, Austria