FRANKFURT (Jun. 28)
John J. McCloy, American High Commissioner in Germany, last night expressed the opinion that there is no problem of “rising anti-Semitism” in Germany, although he admitted that anti-Semitic manifestations were in fact taking place. Mr. McCloy explained the recent anti-Semitic acts as “vestiges of anti-Semitism after years of virous orientation and training” by the Nazis.
Commissioner McCloy’s estimate of the situation was contained in a letter to Mrs. Herbort Stein, president of a Jewish society of Seattle, Washington, who had communicated to the High Commissioner her organization’s concern over anti-democratic developments im German political and social life.
The Commissioner’s letter declared that “acts of anti-Semitism have alarmed not only you and other Americans, but have drawn increased attention from all the occupation powers and the German press.” He also pointed out that in recent months West German President Theodor Heuss, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the Parliament, various newspapers and the churches have all spoken out against anti-Semitism. This public expression of indignation has had a salutary effect, he added.
Regarding the appointment of former Nazi Party members to official positions, which was also raised by Mrs. Stein, Commissioner McCloy admitted that “it is true that now and then persons with active Nazi backgrounds attain office,” but explained that “in these cases there are well-defined lines of procedure for checking the appointment to high office of persons considered inimical or dangerous to the aims and purposes of the occoupation. Countering this is one of the continuing basic operations of the United States High Commissioner.”
As for restitution, Mr. McCloy stressed the difficulties encountered in getting the program under way, placing particular emphasis on the problem of getting a qualified staff to carry out the program. The difficulties, be continued, “are gradually being overcome” and the program will be completed by the end of 1951. He also estimated that all court cases arising from the restitution program will be settled by the middle of 1952.
The Commissioner denied that there is a general parole program in effect for war criminals and insisted that no such program is contemplated. He added: “It is, however, characteristic of any civilized government that there be in authority an executive to exercise clemency in appropriate cases. Such authorities are particularly necessary respecting war crimes cases since there is no provision for judicial reviews of these cases.”