Warns Jews Must Press German Claims or Lose Vital Interests

Refusal of the Jewish people to enter into negotiations with Germany would be inconsistent with demands made in the past and would be incompatible with trade relations already existing between Germany and important Jewish organizations. Prof. E. J. Cohn, barrister and authority on German law, said here tonight addressing a symposium on the question of whether Jews should make peace with Germany.

He said that Germany had met some of the Jewish demands and had given assurances of the fulfillment of others. He pointed out that the Jewish people had substantial interests in Germany, noting that important industries, banking firms, trading corporations and agricultural estates taken from their Jewish owners by the Nazis were now being returned to Jewish ownership. The alternative, he said, was to press for fulfillment of these claims or to give up vital Jewish interests.

It was true that politically, the Jews had enemies in Germany, he declared, but they also had enemies elsewhere. On the other hand, the Jews had gained friends among the Germans and they should not refuse peace with Germany if it were offered on terms of dignity.

Rabbi Kopul Rosen, president of the British Mizrachi Federation, told the gathering, which was sponsored by the World Jewish Congress, that in addressing the Germans, the Jews should say, “we demand reparations, but we will not be your friends. We are not in favor of an eternal life and death struggle but our emotions at present are facts as potent as trade talks and restitution.”

Prof. Norman Bentwich, who was a member of the British governmental committee which recently surveyed restitution measures in the British zone, of Germany, said that the Jewish people should pursue peace with the Germans. The Jewish people and the State of Israel, he said, should be guided solely by the moral and ethical principles of Jewish tradition.

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