Austrian fund for victims of Nazis to shut down

June 26, 2012 - 4:17 PM

VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian fund to compensate victims of Nazi persecution is shutting down after paying out $210 million (nearly 168 million euros) — for just a fraction of the claims it recognized over its 11 years of existence.

A statement from the Reparation Fund for the Victims of National Socialism said Tuesday that it is ending its work after dealing with the last of 20,702 applications since starting work in 2001.

The statement quoted fund Chairman Sir Franklin Berman of Britain as saying the fund recognized claims amounting to about $1.5 billion (nearly 1.2 billion euros). Because it was able to pay out only a fraction of that due to its limited finances, he said the compensation could thus only be seen as a "late gesture of reconciliation."