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Court Affirms Settlement of Bank Austria's Holocaust Claims

The United States Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court's order settling all claims by Holocaust victims and their families against Austria's largest bank, Bank Austria and wholly-owned subsidiary, Creditanstalt.

In affirming the order of settlement entered by United States District Court Judge Shirley Wohl Kram on January 12, 2000, the Court of Appeals stated that the lower court, "acted well within its discretion when it approved the settlement agreement, reached through arms-length negotiations of experienced counsel, concluding that the settlement's terms were fair, reasonable and adequate."

The order calls for bank Austria to pay a total of $40 million to settle all claims against it by Holocaust victims.

"From the outset, Bank Austria has sought and solicited to acknowledge its share of responsibility for the role its predecessor institutions played in the activities of the Nazis," said Charles G. Moerdler, counsel for Bank Austria. "We are gratified that the Court of Appeals has affirmed the settlement, and we trust that payment to survivors and heirs may begin immediately."

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