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
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
The public identification of these properties is intended to inform
about past happenings and raise awareness in an attempt to encourage
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
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
(1) When Austria joined the NS-system
(2) Policy of expropriation; Jewish property was legitimately given
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.
(7) Salzburg Restitution point