(JTA) — Austria’s government will give $28.6 million to restore Jewish cemeteries in the country.
The cemeteries were abandoned and looted after Austria joined the Third Reich in 1938.
The decision came late Monday evening during a meeting of Austrian officials and Ariel Muzicant, president of Vienna’s Jewish community.
The money pledged by Austria will be distributed over 20 years. The Jewish community will raise a matching $28.6 million from citizens and outside donors, Bloomberg reported.
Efforts are under way to resolve a 3-year-old stalemate that has kept the Austrian government from paying a $210 million Holocaust-era property claims settlement and to provide the Austrian Jewish community with the money it needs to continue operating.
Israel Singer, president of the Conference on Jewish and Material Claims Against Germany, said he has proposed funding the Jewish community using unallocated money from a $400 million fund created to pay surviving slave laborers. The deadline for filing slave labor claims expires Dec. 31 and about $150 million remains.