Adenauer Urges “normalization” of German-israel Relations

West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer declared today that he would sincerely welcome complete normalization of relations between Germany and Israel. His statement was made in an interview in the German daily Die Welt, marking the second anniversary of the signing of the German reparations pact with Israel at Luxembourg.

The Chancellor denied that Israel would have to terminate a state of war between itself and Germany in order to resume diplomatic relations with Bonn. Israel has never considered itself at war with the Bonn Republic, Chancellor Adenauer said.

In the interview, the Chancellor reaffirmed the statement of principles on Jewish matters which he read to the Bundestag in September, 1951, and which led to the subsequent negotiations and conclusion of the reparations pact. He also underlined the West German Constitutional provision prohibiting discrimination on account of race or creed.

The Chancellor expressed gratification with efforts to make the German people more familiar with the work of reconstruction in Israel and, in this connection, praised the government agency which recently devoted an entire issue of the official weekly Das Parliament to Israel.

The Chancellor placed considerable emphasis on the distinction, often blurred in the German public mind, between reparations to Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and compensation to individuals, not all of whom are Jews, for the injustices committed against them personally. He insisted that if Germans looked askance at compensation payments or argued that Germany was already doing enough by paying reparations, it was because of a basic misunderstanding of the situation.

It is a primary objective of the Federal Government to overcome the hatred provoked by the Nazi regime, Dr. Adenauer declared. The reparations pact with Israel and the Federal Indemnification Law are important factors in the achievement of this task, he concluded.

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