Adenauer Appeals to Jews to Pray for Non-jews Killed by Nazis

Acknowledging that Germany had committed “terrible crimes against the Jews” during the Nazi regime, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer pleaded yesterday with religious Jews to pray “not only for the Jewish martyrs but also for the Christians who were killed by the same murderers.”

Dr. Adenauer voiced his plea, coupling it with an expression of hope for a peaceful future between Jews and Christians in West Germany, when he helped dedicate the newly-rebuilt synagogue which was dedicated here yesterday. Germany now, he said, is “a haven of decency and order” for all people.

The rebuilt synagogue replaces the Jewish house of worship destroyed by the Nazis during the infamous “Crystal Night” of 1938. There are 1,200 Jews living in Cologne now–against a total of 20,000 in pre-Nazi days. Approximately 11,000 of Cologne’s pre-war Jews were killed by the Nazis.

Many other leading West German political personalities, besides Dr. Adenauer, attended the dedication of the rebuilt synagogue, on the Roonstrasse, occupy in the site of the original building constructed in 1895. The Jewish community here is one of the oldest in Europe. As far back as 321, C.E., an imperial decree referred to the “sizable” Jewish congregation in Cologne.

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