U.S. Army Releases Report on Anti-semitism and Restitution Delays in Germany

Anti-Semitism is still strong in Germany according to a report released today by the Department of Defense, submitted by Major Abrahan S. Hynan, acting advisor on Jewish affairs to the United States occupation authorities in Germany and Austria until the end of last year.

The report points out that although the statements against anti-Semitism made last November by President Theodor Heuss and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany “were forthright and represented an excellent beginning,” they were practically ignored in the German press.

Major Hyman recommends that in the American approach to the German people the fact should be stressed that “it is at least as much, if not more, in their own interest as it is in the interest of the Jewish people that they forsake their anti-Semitism.” The former adviser on Jewish affairs says that in the course of his four-and-a-half-year tour of duty he met Germans who rejected anti-Semitism during the Nazi regime, but he feels that “these people are a pitifully small minority.”

Reporting on the problem of property restitution, Major Hyman emphasizes the determination of U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy to prevent the restitution law now in effect in the U.S. zone of Germany from being defeated through interminable delays in restitution courts.

With regard to the restitution situation in Austria, Major Hyman points out that amendments recently proposed to the Austrian Third Restitution Law “are a clear-cut attempt at the emasculation of this law.” He warns that if the proposed amendments are adopted, internal restitution in Austria “will become a farce.” The amendments were introduced in the parliament by extreme rightists of the Volkspartei, following the Parliamentary elections of last October.

(Nazi victims are being evicted from the Rotweg housing project in Stuttgart to make room for former Nazis and ex-storm troopers acquitted by denazification courts in Wuerttemberg-Baden, the New York Times reported from Stuttgart today. The project was built during the war by the Nazis for Gestapo man and their families and for persons politically acceptable to the local Gestapo commander. Most of them were arrested at the end of the war but have since been released by German courts, while American occupation authorities refuse to interfere, the Times said.)

Major Hyman concludes his report with praise for the International Refugee Organization, the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for their work in helping in the rehabilitation of displaced Jews. He also lauds the role played by the U.S. Army in Germany and in Austria in helping case the situation of Jewish DP’s. “Almost with no exception, every request which could, within the framework of our occupation policy, be met, was readily met,” he stresses.

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