LONDON (Dec. 28)
British newspapers agreed today that the defacement of a synagogue in Cologne on Christmas Eve had harmed the standing of the West German Government abroad and was a blow to its prestige.
The London Daily Telegraph said that “the desecration could not have been better timed to harm West Germany’s standing abroad. There is very little serious anti-Semitism, as the Jewish community regularly points out.”
The London Daily Express said that Sunday night’s arrests showed that Chancellor Konrad Adenauer “is extremely worried not only by the possibility of a serious neo-Nazi movement in Germany but also by the shock which the anti-Jewish action in Cologne will have given the rest of the world.”
The Manchester Guardian pointed out that the Cologne incident was the second jolt administered recently to German-Jewish relations. The first, it noted, was a statement by the West German Foreign Office spokesman that the Federal Republic would not risk a deterioration of relations with the Arab world by exchanging ambassadors with Israel.
“In the past,” the paper commented, “it has been the State of Israel which has shown reluctance to open direct relations with Bonn because of the possible effects on Israeli public opinion.”
The spokesman’s statement, according to the West German News Agency, was in reply to an appeal by Karl Marx, editor of the Jewish weekly, Allgemeine Wochenzeitung, of Dussehdorf, who had pleaded for an early establishment of diplomatic ties between West Germany and Israel.