Germany’s Observance of Reparations Obligations Lauded in Israel

Stressing the difference between Germany today and Nazi Germany, high praise was given today to the Bonn Government’s scrupulous observance or reparations obligations and its resistance to Arab blackmail by Walter Eytan, director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry in his commentary on Israel’s shortwave broadcasts to Jews abroad.

Coming after Premier David Ben Gurion’s statement to the same effect, Dr. Eytan’s broadcast is considered part of an effort to obtain world Jewry’s tacit consent for Israel-German diplomatic relations. Describing West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as “himself a victim of Hitler,” Dr. Eytan said it is not important to inquire whether reparations is felt by the Germans as a moral or a political obligation. “The moral element was certainly strong in the case of Adenauer himself,” Dr. Eytanasserted.

Stating that “reparations payment has contributed more probably than any other single factor” to Israel’s economic development, Dr. Eytan sharply attacked Communist East Germany for having “refused to make reparations of any kind for Hitler’s crimes: it apparently has no pangs of conscience.” Describing in detail the constant Arab pressure on Bonn to renege on reparations, Dr. Eytan said that the Bonn Government, more than any in the world, had resisted Arab threats and pressure–even the heaviest. This required, he pointed out, “rare political courage and deserves the fullest recognition.”

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