Service effected for all decisions on compensation for victims of National Socialism

The Claims Committee of the General Settlement Fund for Victims of National Socialism announces that decisions on applications for the compensation of assets have been served by deposit with the Secretary General. The following was published (in German) in the Wiener Zeitung on 1 February 2014:

"Service of all 20,702 decisions on applications filed with the General Settlement Fund for the compensation of assets has been duly effected as of 1 February 2014. Around 500 decisions which were unable to be served on the entitled beneficiaries direct were deposited with the Secretary General of the General Settlement Fund on 1 January 2014. For the deposited decisions which have now been served there is a right of recourse until 31 March 2014 and co-heirs can be included until 30 April 2014. Thereafter, these decisions will become legally final. The entitled beneficiaries will be able to claim the amounts awarded within a period of five years after the service of the decision; this period will expire however no earlier than 31 December 2017 (for all decisions for which service had been effected by the time of the entry into force of the Law on 1 January 2013, Federal Law Gazette I no. 9/2013, the time period under the Statute of Limitations commenced on this day and hence will expire on 31 December 2017)."

Résumé and outlook

To date, around 23,000 persons from 78 countries have received a payment from the General Settlement Fund – some 15,000 of these were applicants in their own right, some 5,000 were heirs and some 3,000 were co-heirs of applicants. So far compensation payments have been made to a total of 211 million US Dollars. Payments are still outstanding for around 1,700 applications.

For the roughly 500 decisions deposited with the Secretary General, around half of the applicants were resident in the USA, followed by Israel, Great Britain, Australia and Canada. The General Settlement Fund is continuing its efforts to seek entitled beneficiaries for the compensation payments awarded. Potential heirs are still being sought for around 1,000 deceased applicants.

The General Settlement Fund was established as a consequence of the Washington Agreement of 23 January 2001. The independent, internationally composed Claims Committee chaired by Sir Franklin Berman with Dr. Kurt Hofmann and G. Jonathan Greenwald as Members has decided on over 160,000 individual claims for compensation in numerous categories of assets. The Claims Committee will present a Closing Report on its activities by September 2015.