NEW YORK (Jan. 5)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, today issued a statement assailing the attacks made by the German Communist Party against Jews and Zionism. The statement reads:
“Copying the pattern set by the Prague trials, the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity (Communist) Party of East Germany yesterday published resolutions which seek to use Zionism as an excuse for the internal purge now going on in the Communist ranks in East Germany.
“The inner convulsions of the Communist regimes and the Cominform, and the guilt or innocence of Communist leaders, are not the concern of Jewry or of Communism. However, all Jews and Zionists were shocked by the attempts of the Prague regime to make the movement of Jewry’s national renaissance the scapegoat for Communist political expediency. The allegation of the existence of ‘an international Zionist conspiracy’ in cooperation with ‘agents of imperialism, seems to have been intended by the Prague rulers to deflect the people’s wrath from their disastrous policies. We shudder to think of the effect this has had on the security of Czech Jews.
“Attacks on Zionism and ‘Jewish capitalists’ come with extremely poor grace from the rulers of East Germany, for no one accepts the Communist contention that conversion to Communism has absolved the East Germans from guilt for Nazi crimes which is the common responsibility of all Germans.
CALLS ANTI-JEWISH STAND OF GERMAN COMMUNISTS “SHAMELESS”
“Herr Merker, a deposed member of the East Germany Politbureau, is alleged to have favored a German subsidy for immigration into Israel and to have praised the rescue efforts of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. I know nothing of Herr Merker’s alleged position or utterances. But it is shameless for the Socialist Unity Party to denounce such a position, if indeed this was Herr Merker’s position, as a reprehensible act.
“On behalf of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and on behalf of the Israel Government, I have repeatedly stressed that it is Germany’s responsibility to pay for the resettlement of Nazism’s victims in Israel. Israel demanded $1,000,000,000 from West Germany and $500,000,000 from East Germany West Germany has made its settlement in the amount of $822,000,000, soon to be ratified by the Bundestag. East Germany has kept silent on Israel’s and Jewry’s demand. In addition to paying for the resettlement of refugees, West Germany has I also committed itself to pay indemnity and restitution to individuals. Some restitution has already been paid. Additional legislation will soon be passed to extend these indemnity benefits.
“East Germany has done nothing in this regard. The resolution published Sunday implies that one of Herr Merker’s errors was that he urged ‘the restoration of all Jewish property to its former owners.’ I do not know whether Herr Merker has done so. However, the Socialist Party publicly refuses restitution and seeks to benefit from the Nazi-Aryan laws under which this property was confiscated.
“The resolution adopted Sunday follows on the heels of an all-out campaign in the East German press against West Germany’s agreement with Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The Socialist Unity Party now attacks Zionists and ‘Jewish capitalists’ in the best manner of the Nazi Party. Its wordage seems to have been lifted from the Nazi lexicon. Is it determined to become the instrument of neo-Nazism? The answer seems to be implicit in the resolution adopted by the Socialist Unity Party.”