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German-israel Reparations Pact Evaluated by Chief Negotiator

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An analysis of the significance of the German-Israel reparations pact for world Jewry is contained in an article written by Prof. Franz Boehm, chief German negotiator of the pact, for a Jewish Year Book published here today on the occasion of the Jewish New Year, which starts next week.

“Restitution must mean more than only compensation for material losses,” Dr. Boehm wrote. “It must help the Jewish people regain its moral and spiritual strength and its traditions. This restitution must be a German ‘act of state.'”

Reviewing the negotiations which led to the signing of the Luxemburg agreement, he said the German Government “had disregarded the formal and legal difficulties resulting from the fact that it had to negotiate with private institutions (the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany) on the basis of international law.

“It would not let itself be deterred by the fact that these organizations do not represent all the injured Jews, that not all the organizations which were founded after the war have joined the Claims Conference, and that there prevails a noticeable tension between some of these and the Conference,” Prof. Boehm continued. “The German negotiators did not try to gain any advantage from this fact.”

Prof. Boehm emphasized that “the German Federal Republic on purpose acknowledged the State of Israel and the world organizations as representatives of the whole Jewish people, thus proclaiming them a political factor as a nation among nations. On the other hand, the 3,000,000,000 marks restitution program substantially promotes the economic development of the new State of Israel,” he pointed out.

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