Jewish Organizations Protest Establishment of Jewish Restitution Bank in Germany

The Jewish Agency office here and the office of the Central Jewish Committee in the American zone of Germany today issued statements expressing opposition to the recently-formed Jewish Restitution Bank.

The Jewish Agency statement protested particularly against the attempt to invest Jewish indemnification funds in the German economy. Such funds, when invested in the newly-formed Bank, cannot be transferred abroad under existing currency regulations.

The Central Jewish Committee claimed that the title of the Bank is misleading since no responsible Jewish organization participates in the bank’s administration. The Committee emphasizes that Dr. Klibansky and Dr. Siegfried Morgenbesser, who were named board members of the bank, do not represent the Jews in Germany.

Replying to the statements issued by the Jewish Agency and the Central Jewish Committee, Dr. Philip Auerbach, Bavarian Commissioner for Persecutees, said that although the Jewish Restitution Bank does not represent Jewish organizations, German Jews have their representatives on the bank’s board of directors. The Central Jewish Committee will Goon be dissolved, he said, adding that its competence extends only to Jewish displaced persons.

“The Bank,” Dr. Auerbach stated, “has been established as a medium of assistance for Jewish businessmen who wish to remain in Germany. Since the Central Jewish Committee desires the emigration of Jews from Germany, it is attempting to discriminate against those remaining in the country.” (In New York, it was learned today that the Joint Distribution Committee several weeks ago issued a statement disassociating itself from the Jewish Restitution Bank, which is known in Germany under the name of Juedische Wiedergutmachunge Bank.)

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