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Prof. Boehm Outlines Germany’s View on Diplomatic Relations with Israel

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Bonn may tackle the problem of diplomatic relations with Israel as a consequence of Bonn’s taking a “new look” at its relations with Eastern European countries and with East Germany, Prof. Franz Boehm, head of the West German delegation which worked out the terms of the German-Israel reparations pact, said here today.

Prof. Boehm, addressing a foreign press correspondents’ luncheon, noted that under its present policy Bonn breaks off relations with any country which recognizes East Germany. Therefore, he said, Bonn was cautions about exchanging envoys with Israel lest the Arab states, in retaliation, recognize the Berlin Communist regime and thereby force Bonn to sever relations with them.

However, Prof. Boehm implied that Bonn was undergoing a change of heart with respect to East Germany and in the event of a new line in this direction might be more willing to recognize Israel. The logic of this position, according to Dr. Boehm, appears to be that if the Arabs retaliate by recognizing East Germany, Bonn would not be in a position where it would be forced to cut loose from the Arabs.

Commenting on the question of individual restitution for Nazi victims, Prof. Boehm expressed confidence that all valid claims would be paid by March, 1962. He estimated that the total to be paid out in this type of indemnification would reach the equivalent of $4,500,000,000.

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