MUNICH (Apr. 27)
The Arab threats of a boycott of German goods because of Bonn’s ratification of the reparations agreement with Israel must not be permitted to turn West Germany from implementation of the agreement, Prof. Franz Boehm, who headed the German delegation which negotiated the reparations pact, declared at a meeting here today. He praised the German Foreign Office for refusing to knuckle under to Arab threats on this issue and added that on no account” must the government take action which “would contradict the national self-respect of the German people.”
Prof. Boehm deplored the fact that the Arab threats had influenced a part of the German people against the reparations treaty and charged that such an atmosphere had been promoted by certain illustrated magazines which “scarcely veiled their antipathy to Jews and the State of Israel.”
In view of the confidence expressed by Israel and the world Jewish organizations in starting negotiations at all, this attitude on the part of the German people had, to some extent, impaired the full moral success of the reparations agreement, he continued, although the entire world “now realizes” that Germany was treating the matter with “complete seriousness.”
The fact that the German Government and Parliament had recognized the State of Israel as the legal representative of the Jewish people, had demonstrated the political and moral willingness of the German people to repair, as far as possible, the crimes committed by the Nazi regime, Prof. Boehm asserted.
In conclusion, he stated: “Hitler encouraged anti-Semitism throughout the world. Therefore it is up to Germany to inaugurate counter-action. If not, we would continue to be blind followers of the National Socialist ideologies.”
In Frankfurt, meanwhile, the Frankfurter Rundschau, today quoted a well known German banker to the effect that the Arab “boycott” has not injured trade between West Germany and the Arab states. The banker, who has close connections with the Middle East, describes the Arab “boycott” as propaganda “conducted merely for the sake of outward appearances.”