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Austrian Israelis want increase in Shoah payment

June 24, 2012 03:48

Between 12,000 and 14,000 Austrian victims of the Holocaust across the world are living in poverty

Holocaust survivors at Auschwitz

Holocaust survivors at Auschwitz 370. (photo credit:reuters)

BERLIN – Gideon Eckhaus, the head of the Israel-based Central Committee for Jews in Austria, urged the Central European country on Friday to increase its compensation payments to Austrian survivors of the Holocaust.

Eckhaus said between 12,000 and 14,000 Austrian victims of the Holocaust across the world are living in poverty and are in need of medical attention that they frequently cannot afford.

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He called on Austria’s government to fill the gaps in compensation. It is unclear if the government plans to increase Holocaust payments to survivors.

According to Eckhaus, Austria’s Finance Minister Josef Pröll agreed a number of years ago to allocate a one-time payment of 100,000 euros for Holocaust survivors in Israel. However, 100,000 euros would not cover the social and medical assistance that survivors require.

Eckhaus, who was born in Vienna, fled Austrian Nazism in 1939. The Nazis murdered his father in Auschwitz and his uncle in Buchenwald.

In a separate development, an Austrian-based Iranian women’s network demonstrated in Vienna last week against the Tehran regime, and called for international solidarity with the Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi, who is living in Germany and faces a fatwa death sentence for apostasy.

In a statement released in advance of the protest, Maryam Farzan, from the Iranian Women’s network, said, “The embassies of the Iranian Holocaust—denying regime serve as a backbone of its terror apparatus abroad and as a departure point for deadly attacks against Iranians living in exile, including here in Vienna.”

Writing on the British-based news website The Commentator earlier this month, the German-Iranian scholar Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh wrote about the new fatwa targeting Najafi. According to Dr. Wahdat- Hagh, Najafi’s only crime was insulting a Shi’ite imam.

There is an online video game based in Iran in which Web surfers can practice the execution of “apostates.”
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