Head of Berlin Jewish Community Council Charges City Authorities with Bad Faith
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Head of Berlin Jewish Community Council Charges City Authorities with Bad Faith

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The action of the West Berlin city council in sponsoring the appearance on a Berlin stage of Ernst Krauss — Austrian Nazi actor who portrayed five different Jews in the anti-Semitic Nazi film “Jew Suess” — amounted to throwing down a “gauntlet to the Berlin Jewish community, the Jews of Germany and world Jewry,” Heinz Galinski, chairman of the Berlin Jewish community council, charged today.

In an article in the current “Allgemeine Wochenzeitung der Juden in Deutschland,” publication of the Jewish community, Dr. Galinski reveals that as early as December 1 Jewish community leaders called on West Berlin Mayor Ernst Reuther to urge that Krauss’ scheduled appearance in an Ibsen play on the night of December 8 be cancelled. The Mayor suggested that the time for forgiveness had arrived.

The Jewish delegation differed with Dr. Galinski, pointing out that Krauss’ portrayal of the Jews had resulted in the heightening of anti-Jewish feeling in Germany and elsewhere and that the murdered millions of Jews and the survivors of the concentration camps — including himself — could not forgive Krauss so easily.

In his article, the head of the Berlin Jewish community expresses his thanks to the people of Berlin, particularly students, who joined with the Jews in protesting Krauss’ appearance and whose protest action forced the cancellation of further appearances by the Nazi actor. During the demonstration on the night of December 8 Berlinpolice charged hundreds of demonstrators, injuring a number.

Dr. Galinski also warns that the Berlin authorities’ action in this case “Justifies the worst expectations” as to what Jews can expect in reparations and other matters. He labels the action a “refusal by the Greater Berlin Municipality to make moral reparations to its Jewish fellow citizens.”

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