Friday, March 28, 2014

Austria: Jew sent to jail for 'defrauding' state of former Jewish property

Via Tablet Magazine:
On April 4, Stephan Templ, a Jewish 53-year-old architectural historian, will report to an Austrian prison to spend the next three years in jail. His crime: helping his mother, a Holocaust survivor, reclaim her share of a 19th-century hospital off Vienna’s Ringstrasse that was seized by the Nazis from a relative in 1938.
According to the three-judge panel that convicted him last April, Templ—who has written extensively about Austria’s poor record of providing restitution for Nazi-looted art and property—himself deliberately defrauded the state of what one judge insisted was Austria’s right to claw back a piece of the proceeds.  

Templ believes he is being singled out for political reasons. In 2001, he and his partner Tina Walzer wrote a book called Unser Wien—or Our Vienna—that detailed the history and ownership of some 350 prominent buildings, landmarks, and businesses that had been Aryanized after the Anschluss. The book put many Austrians on notice that Nazi-era theft and postwar re-appropriation of looted Jewish property was not a buried issue and earned the pair the front-page headline “A New Campaign Against Austria” in the mass-circulation tabloid Kronen Zeitung.
“This scandalous court rules that they should get the Fürth building back again,” Templ told me in a telephone interview last week. “That’s just Aryanizing it all over again.” 

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