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German Pastor, Friend of Jews, Invited to Israel by Government

The Rev. Hermann Mass, supervising Protestant clergyman in the Heidelberg area and one of the most warm-hearted German friends of the Jewish people, has been invited for a second postwar visit by the Israel Government. He hopes to depart within the next few weeks.

Archdeacon Maas, who is 76, has been a dedicated Zionist ever since he attended a Zionist Congress in Basle shortly after the turn of the century. He became thoroughly conversant with modern Hebrew, translated Chaim Nachman Bialik into German and journeyed to Palestine even during the early years of the Hitler regime. Later, he saved many Jewish children from the fury of persecution. The end of the war found him in a Nazi labor camp.

In 1950, he was the first German Gentile to be invited by the Israel Government to visit the Jewish State. The enthusiastic and deeply touching reports of this tour, which he delivered to the German people upon his return, together with his constant reminders of Germany’s accountability and obligation towards the Jews, helped to create the psychological atmosphere in which the Israel reparations agreement became possible.

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