High U.S. Official in Germany “distressed” by German Anti-semitism
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High U.S. Official in Germany “distressed” by German Anti-semitism

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Benjamin Buttenwieser, retiring Assistant United States High Commissioner for Germany, feels that a “distressing” number of anti-Semitic incidents and utterances are still observable in Germany, it was reported here today by the New York Times on the basis of an interview given a Times correspondent in Bonn.

Mr. Buttenwieser added that the percentage of Germans who want to do the “right thing” is “disappointingly small. ” Asked to comment on the German scene as “an American of the Jewish faith, ” Mr. Buttenwieser said he had been disappointed at what he called the failure of the Germans to co-operate as much as they might have done to make it agreeable for Jews to live in Germany.

“I would have thought that the Germans, in general, would have had such a feeling of revulsion over the nightmare of the past that they would have gone more out of their way to help German Jews make a comeback, ” he said. “These observations are limited, of course, because there are so few Jews, but in individual cases there is a distressing number of anti-Semitic utterances and actions. “

The official German attitude on the question of restitutions and indemnifications has been “conceived in a noble spirit” but, the test will have to come in the implementation and so far progress along that line has been “slow and meager, ” Mr. Buttenwieser stressed.

In May of 1950 the Anti-Defamation League cancelled, at the last minute, an invitation to Mr. Buttenwieser to address its national conference on the grounds that the “general tenor” of his speech was “an apologia for the limited job that has been done to denssify Germany.” The A.D.L. also stated that the speech would have given “aid and encouragement to those vicious elements in the ‘new German nationalism’ which Mr. Buttenwieser himself admits are re-emerging today. “

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