U.S. Jews Must Be Vigilant over Anti-semitism in Germany, Engel Says

There is a growing concern among West Germans about the need for education for citizenship and democracy, Irving M. Engel, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, reported here today following his arrival from Germany, where he discussed this problem with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

He said West German political leaders also discussed this problem with John J. McCloy and Dr. James B. Conant, former U.S. High Commissioners for Germany; Shepherd Stone, of the Ford Foundation; and Dr. Harry Gideonse, president of Brooklyn College. West German participants included representatives of the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, as well as heads of two West German states and leading West German educators, he reported.

“Like Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, with whom I discussed this problem last Thursday, there are many responsible leaders aware of the serious vacuum that exists in German education,” Mr. Engel said. He added that it was clear “to all that this task of re-education must be done by the Germans themselves, and cannot be done by outsiders,”

“While various attempts are being made at local and state levels throughout Germany to improve the situation in the field of civic education and enlightening prejudice, a much more substantial effort is needed,” he asserted. “The Germans themselves recognize that a general coordinated effort by the Federal Government, the various states, and nongovernmental bodies of leadership is still required.”

Noting that “we hear much of anti-Semitic attitudes and anti-Semitic incidents in Germany,” the AJC leader said: “We must continue to be vigilant. At the same time, we should pay increasing attention to and try to help those elements in Germany conscientiously striving to make democratic roots sink deeper into German soil.”

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