Jewish historian jailed for leaving out aunt in Shoah reparations application

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish historian jailed for leaving out aunt in Shoah reparations application

Stephan Templ
Stephan Templ

A prominent Jewish historian in Austria has been jailed for fraud after excluding an aunt in an application for Holocaust reparations, listing only his mother as heir.

Stephan Templ
Stephan Templ

Stephan Templ, who catalogued hundreds of Jewish-owned properties and assets seized by the Nazis but never returned, was jailed in Vienna on Monday. He had originally been given three years but this was reduced to 12 months on appeal.

Supporters have cried foul, however, suggesting the case was politically-motivated revenge for Templ’s 2001 book, which triggered a wave of legal claims against the Austrian state from around the world. 

Templ was found guilty of trying to defraud the state after making a restitution claim ten years ago. The property at the centre of the claim – a huge and elegant 19th century villa in the city centre – was once a clinic belonging to Templ’s grandmother’s cousin, who killed himself after being humiliated by the Nazis and forced to clean the pavement with a toothbrush.

Templ, 54, omitted his aunt’s name from the application, listing only his mother Helene, now 82, as heir. It was only when notaries contacted Elisabeth Kretschmar, Helene’s sister, about the application deadline, that concerns were raised.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: