NEW YORK (Dec. 6)
The present government of West Germany is “entitled to understanding and intelligent aid of all pro-democratic forces,” Philip M. Klutznick, chairman of the International Council of B’nai B’rith, told the 46th annual meeting of the Anti-Defamation League here last night. The four-day meeting concluded today with the presentation by the ADL of its annual award to the American theatre for its “contributions to the enrichment of democracy.”
Mr. Klutznick stressed the “incalculable significance” of the West German government to “the legitimate hopes of the free world.” He said that “many memories leave question marks” about Germany so that “even isolated incidents of anti-Semitism breed new fears,” but asserted that “the extraordinary leadership” of the present government “has striven with great energy to eradicate the vestiges of the horrible past.” He said it has carried through “heroic and historic programs of reparations, restitution and human rehabilitation.”
Mr. Klutznick announced that restitution funds returned to B’nai B’rith for property confiscated by the Nazis will enable the organization to install its first German lodge since the Hitler years on December 13. It will be named for Dr. Leo Baeck, German Jewry’s most revered leader of the Hitler period. Dr. Baeck was the leading rabbi of the Berlin community during the 1930′s. He refused to leave his post during the period of Nazi persecution and spent the war years in a concentration camp. The West German government recently issued a postage stamp memorializing him.