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Association of Jewish Businessmen in Western Germany Formed; Problems Discussed

An association of Jewish businessmen in Western Germany was organized here today at a meeting called by the Jewish Merchants Association of Bavaria. Representative businessmen from all three Western zones attended the conference.

Complaints of “hostility” toward Jewish businessmen in German government offices were voiced at the session. One delegate stated that Jewish businessmen have been denied import and export licenses by German officials because the latter were officially giving preference to “established” merchants. Since the Jews spent the war years in hiding or in concentration camps they are not considered as operating “established” firms. The same delegate said that the only Jews who occasionally are granted a request by an official are those who were in business before 1938.

Other speakers at the parley deplored “the lack of credit” available to Jewish merchants. However, they expressed opposition to dealing with the Jewish Restitution Bank where, as one speaker put it, “no Jewish merchants but two non-Jews became members of the board.”