BERLIN (Jan. 16)
Anti-Semitism is no longer a major problem in Germany, according to Willy Brand, Mayor of Berlin, president of the Upper House of the West German Parliament and a leading Social Democrat.
In an exclusive interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Mayor Brand noted that in the postwar world the German people, beset by many troubles, fought against consideration of their collective responsibility for the crimes against the Jews. However, the younger generation, not feeling personally attacked by public discussion of anti-Semitism has attacked the problem with an open mind.
Herr Brand made it clear he favors full discussion of the events of the Hitler regime as a safeguard against their recurrence. He asserted that the political leadership of West Germany was not fighting as openly and courageously against neo-Nazism as it should. While he expressed criticism of Justice Minister Fritz Shaeffer’s public attack on restitution payments to Jews as undermining the German economy, Herr Brand doubted that it would have any anti-Semitic repercussions.
Commenting on the question of Israel-German diplomatic relations, the Bundesrat leader said he was and remains of the opinion that “West Germany has to wait until Israel takes the initiative.” When it does, he continued, “it will be necessary to find some solution to take care of the interests of both states.”