WASHINGTON (Jan. 17)
Ambassador Abba Eban of Israel today presented to Secretary of State Dean Acheson a note outlining the claims of the Israel Government against Germany for restitution of Jewish property and indemnification of Nazi victims now in the Jewish state.
The note points out that while certain laws for restitution and indemnification were enacted by the occupation authorities in Germany, the provisions remain largely unfulfilled. “The claimants are now seriously disturbed last such prospects. As exist of having their claims not should be nullified by the steps being contemplated by the occupying powers to divest themselves of control of the affairs of the Federal German Republic,” the note says. “It is imperative that the Federal German authorities accept financial liability under the existing legislation, jointly and severally with the leader.”
“A unified general claims law is required for the whole of Germany, modeled in the law enforced in the U.S. zone, but dispensing with the arbitrary restriction in the claims of displaced persons based on qualifying dates for sojourn in Germany,” the note recommends. Existing rigid exchange regulations, it is further pointed out, Debar claimants outside Germany from obtaining any material advantages from their claims of property, the benefit whereof thus continues to accrue to the German economy.
PROTESTS CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF NAZI VICTIMS
“The general currency restrictions are meant to apply to German inhabitants for foreign investors who wish to transfer funds in the normal course, and there can be no justification for applying them to those Jews who escaped or survived the Nazi regime and now desire to utilize the proceeds of their assets and claims to make possible their rehabilitation elsewhere,” the Israel Government emphasized.
“Those Jewish losses for which Germany must be held accountable, and which do not fall within the scope of the laws providing restitution and indemnification, can only be made good on a collective basis, by the satisfaction of reparations claims on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people,” the note said. In respect of such claims, as well as in regard of the historic indemnity which Germany owes to the Jewish people for the wholesales destruction of European Jewry, the Government of Israel makes an express reservation, which will form the subject of a separate note.”
“Atonement by the German Government and people for the injury inflicted upon the Jewish people is a necessary prelude to any political and moral rehabilitation of Germany in the eyes of the civilized world. The Government of Israel cannot reconcile itself to the enjoyment by Germany of the fruit of its rapine and murder, while the victims of an unholy German regime are denied all comfort and redress,” the note declares.