BONN (May. 19)
Leaders of the trade union movement in West Germany today demanded early reopening of reparations talks between Germany and Jewish organizations and the State of Israel.
“Germany’s limited financial ability must not serve as a pretext for escaping the ethical duty to make material reparations to Jews, at least within the scope of the possible,” the federal chairman of the German Trades Union Council declared in a statement here. He added that the unparalleled enormity of the wrongs inflicted upon the Jews in the past should not be allowed to leave the minds of the German people and of the German representatives at the reparations talks.
Usually reliable sources today reported that Dr. Otto Kuester, deputy head of the German delegation to the reparations discussions with Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, has resigned because of lack of support of his views by the West German Government. Official sources declined to comment on the report.
A report from Stuttgart today said that the state of Wurttemberg-Baden has paid out 40,000,000 deutschemarks in reparations to Nazi victims up to the end of April. Another 11,500,000 marks has been claimed and will be paid out in due course, the report stated.