The heirs of the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family filed a new lawsuit against the Vienna government. In the lawsuit, they demanded the return of assets worth € 110 million.
According to RBC citing the Financial Times, the plaintiffs claim that their inheritance was seized by the Nazis in the 1930s and then appropriated by the city. Now the family, represented by its representative Jeffrey Hoge, is demanding the return of the assets.
On the list of seized assets, the heirs listed a late baroque palace and a psychiatric hospital with a 300-acre site (121.4 hectares). It is one of the largest in Austria.
In 1905, Albert von Rothschild founded a charity foundation in Vienna with which he wanted to make the city a leading center for the study of psychiatry. Therefore, the banker placed psychiatric hospitals in the buildings of this foundation.
The foundation was rebuilt after World War II but was inactive for several decades because of the municipal health system in the Austrian capital. However, over the past few years, the authorities began to sell some of the main assets.
FT’s correspondents also spoke with lawyer Hannes Jarolim, representing the interests of the Viennese authorities. He said the city would consider the suit in detail and present its legal position on Hoge’s application.
Jeffrey Hoge, great-grandson of Albert von Rothschild, had already filed a lawsuit against Vienna in January 2020. At that time, the heir to the dynasty accused the Austrian capital of “immortalizing” Nazi crimes after the city sold the valuable property of the foundation to itself, moreover, at an undervalue.
Hoege also added that the government illegally took control of the foundation’s board after the war. However, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the case on hold.