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Rückgabe (Restitution)
Intervention for the awareness of robbery and concealment in the festival town of Salzburg.

Under the appearance of legitimacy: Robbery without Restitution

After Austria’s "Anschluss(1)" with the NS-system in 1938, Jewish citizens were excluded from the public legal system. Following the first arrests of Jews was a temporary official management of Jewish property usually resulting in expropriation.

These actions were legally sanctioned by specially declared laws favouring Aryan citizens. The Nazi term Arisierung(2) is nothing but a synonym for nationally sanctioned robbery. This gave many the chance to claim the property of their Jewish neighbours for themselves. Houses, furniture, jewellery, books and other personal possessions were either stolen or acquired at ridiculously low prices from the persecuted Jews by Aryan citizens.

The existing Arisierungsakten(3), state the names of the Arisierer(4), the furniture, real estate and the outrageously low prices of purchase in detail. Even these relatively small sums were made unavailable to the original Jewish proprietors through special fees such as the Entjudungsabgabe and the Reichsfluchtsteuer(5).

After 1945 private and public restitution was made virtually impossible. Apart from very few exceptions, none of the stolen property was ever returned. Politicians, administrations and private profiteers did their utmost to conceal the facts and always refused to pay any compensation.

How many households in Salzburg still hold such unlawful property?

The Intervention "Rueckgabe(6)" aims to make this scandal apparent to society.
The "Rueckgabestelle Salzburg"(7) attempts to locate stolen property at certain places in the city of Salzburg. These properties are then marked in a simple and effective way and presented to the public.

The public identification of these properties is intended to inform about past happenings and raise awareness in an attempt to encourage discussion.
It is now being demanded of all political forces, public and legal authorities and private profiteers of this so-called "legal" robbery to return the stolen property to the rightful owners and their heirs.

The Rueckgabestelle Salzburg provides information on the matter and encourages discussion. Documents of refusals to return property are on display in the gallery.
We would appreciate any further evidence or suggestions.



Galerie 5020, Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 12/1
5020 Salzburg


(1) When Austria joined the NS-system
(2) Policy of expropriation; Jewish property was legitimately given to Aryan
citizens or sold for extremely low prices
(3) Official documents of the expropriation policy
(4) Aryan recipients of Jewish property, stolen or purchased for very little money
(5) Special legal fees and taxes to enforce Jewish emigration.
(6) Restitution
(7) Salzburg Restitution point