296. Memorandum of Conversation0
- Article 26 Claims1
- His Excellency, Julius Raab, Chancellor of Austria2
- His Excellency, Dr. Wilfred Platzer, Ambassador of Austria
- The Honorable Dr. Friedrich Meznik, Chief of the Press Bureau, Austrian Federal Chancellery
- Dr. Paul Zedtwitz, Counselor, Embassy of Austria
- Dr. Erich Haider, Special Assistant to the Chancellor
- The Secretary
- Mr. G. Torbert, Jr., Director, Western Europe
- Mr. R.D. Kearney, Assistant Legal Adviser, European Affairs
- Mr. F.L. Chapin, Austrian Desk
Chancellor Raab said that the Austrian Government had already agreed to pay 550 million schillings or approximately $21 million, for the Jewish Aid Fund which had been set up several years ago. Then the Jewish groups had made additional claims based on Article 26. He had agreed to see the Jewish leaders on May 20 and would see what could be done about settling the claims. There had to be some end, however, to the claims.
The Secretary said that the United States had proposed a formula for settlement of the claims which would result in the payment of approximately [Page 770] $5 million or less than $200 each for the 30, 000 claimants around the world. He scarcely needed to recall to the Chancellor the large measure of sympathy in the United States for the claimants. He believed it would be an advantage to Austria to settle the matter; he was glad that the Chancellor was meeting with a delegation of Jewish leaders; and he hoped that the Chancellor would be able to give them some satisfaction.
Chancellor Raab inquired about the $5 million figure and was informed that it represented the United States estimate of the total of all categories of claims. If the negotiations now in progress between the two governments resulted in a satisfactory settlement, the United States would be prepared to deliver a formal note stating that the United States would no longer intervene diplomatically on behalf of claimants under Article 26. Chancellor Raab broke in to say that Austria was ready to settle the claims under Article 26 and reiterated there must be an end to the Jewish claims. The Secretary pointed out that the settlement would eliminate further representation by the United States Government, but the Government could not prevent private persons from advancing claims or arguing with the Austrian Government. The important thing would be that the United States would not support any such action after a satisfactory settlement was reached.
Chancellor Raab said that he would be glad to look into the negotiations and see what could be done about them. Austria was drafting war damage compensation laws, and the Jewish emigrants would be treated in the same manner as Austrian nationals in Austria with regard to any such compensation.
- Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Confidential. Drafted by Chapin on May 20.↩
- Reference is to Article 26 of the Austrian State Treaty, providing for compensation by Austria of victims of political persecution under the Nazi regime.↩
Chancellor Raab paid an unofficial visit to the United States during the latter half of May. He was in Washington May 18-21. On May 19, he had conversations with Secretary Dulles concerning the recognition of the People’s Republic of China, Russian atomic propaganda, Austrian-U.S. economic relations, claims under Articles 26 and 27 of the Austrian State Treaty, the conclusion of negotiations under the Vienna Memorandum, and delivery of rolling mill equipment by Austria to Czechoslovakia. Briefing materials for the meeting, dated May 14, are in Department of State, Central Files, 763.11/5–1458. Memoranda of conversation between Dulles and Raab (except for that part of the conversation covering recognition of the People’s Republic of China) are ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199.
Immediately following the conversations between Dulles and Raab, President Eisenhower hosted a luncheon for the Chancellor. A record of that conversation, dated May 22, is ibid., Central Files, 033.6311/5–2258.
After visiting Washington, Raab visited South Bend, Indiana, Chicago, and San Francisco before returning to Vienna.↩