Action of Bavarian Chief Rabbi Causes Split in German Jewry

The executive of the Central Council of Jews in Germany has disassociated itself from Bavaria’s Chief Rabbi Aaron Ohrenstein, it was disclosed here today. This action follows the recent decision by the executive to suspend all officials implicated in legal proceedings. Rabbi Ohrenstein is involved in the case of Dr. Philip Auerbach, former Bavarian Commissioner for Restitution, who is now under arrest.

As Chief Rabbi of Bavaria, it was noted, Rabbi Ohrenstein failed to comply with the executive’s request to “refrain from exercising his office,” and since his “conduct was incompatible with the traditions of the Jewish community,” the executive felt compelled to take the disassociation step.

Rabbi Ohrenstein charges that the Council is interfering in the affairs of the Munich Jewish community. A similar statement was made by the Munich Jewish community which, in addition, rejected the Council’s interference in matters “concerning only Bavarian Jewry.”

Meanwhile, the Council welcomed the recent statement by Chancellor Adenauer and expressed the hope that his words will soon be translated into deeds. The Council also voiced support for Israel’s claims for reparations from Germany.

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