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International Jewish Conference Clarifies Stand on Germany

A three-point statement on Jewish claims against Germany was issued here at the concluding session of the two-day international Jewish conference called for the purpose of considering such claims. The statement, which was adopted unanimously by all delegates representing 20 major Jewish organizations from nine countries, said:

1, The conference records its wholehearted support of the claim advanced by the Government of Israel in respect of the rehabilitation in Israel of victims of Nazi persecution.

“2. The conference demands satisfaction of all other Jewish claims against Germany, including claims for restitution and indemnification by individuals, successor organizations and others, and for rehabilitation of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.

“3. The conference calls for immediate steps to improve existing restitution and indemnification legislation and procedure, to enact such legislation where it does not exist and to speed up the settlement of Jewish claims in these fields.”

CREATE TWO COMMITTEES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEM

The conference created two ad hoc committees to deal with the question of Jewish material claims against Germany. One is a policy committee consisting of one representative from each of the organizations which sponsored and participated in the conference. The other is an executive committee consisting of 12 persons, which is authorized to take such practical steps as developments may necessitate.

With the exception of one person from France, whose name will be announced at a later date, the conference approved appointment of the following to serve on the executive committee: Dr. Leo Baeck, London; Dr. N. Barou, London; Mr. Jacob Blaustein, Baltimore; Mr. Samuel Bronfman, Montreal; Dr. Abraham Cohen, London; Mr. Frank Goldman, Lowell, Mass.; Dr. Nahum Goldmann, New York; Dr. Israel Goldstein, New York; Mr. Adolph Held, New York; Dr. Isaac Lewin, New York; Dr. Irving Miller, New York. The members were selected as individuals and not as representatives of organizations.

Emphasizing that “this conference was called together for the sole purpose of considering Jewish material claims against Germany,” the statement issued by the parley recalls the “appalling martyrdom and losses” suffered by Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany, and declares that crimes of the nature and magnitude perpetrated by Nazi Germany against Jews cannot be expiated by any measure of material reparations.

“No indemnity, however large, can make good the destruction of human life and cultural values or atone for the agony of the men, women, and children tortured or put to death by every inhuman device,” the statement says. Every elementary principle of justice and human decency requires that the German people shall, at the least, restore the plundered Jewish property, indemnify the victims of persecution, their heirs and successors, and pay for the rehabilitation of the survivors. In this connection the conference recalls the note of the Government of Israel presented to the Occupying Powers on March 12, 1951.

“The significance of the statement made by the Chancellor of the German Federal Government on September 27, 1951, and approved by the West German Parliament, acknowledging that the unspeakable crimes committed during the Nazi regime impose on the German people the obligation to make amends, will be judged by the speed and extent of its implementation,” the statement pointed out. It stressed the fact that no acknowledgment of responsibility or readiness to make any amends has been made by Eastern Germany.

The conference closed with a luncheon tendered by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co chairman of the Jewish Agency, who presided at the sessions. Ambassador Abba Eban, addressing the luncheon, said that the Israel Government fully supports the statement issued by the conference and is especially satisfied with the fact that the statement was adopted unanimously.

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