NEW YORK (May. 7)
Recent statements by German leaders in connection with the Eichmann trial were denounced here today as attempts to ‘soften’ the picture of Germany’s past guilt. The criticism leveled by Joseph Rosensaft, former chairman of the Central Committee of the Liberated Jews in the British Zone of Germany, at a dinner-reunion of 200 survivors of the Bergen Belsen death camp at the Hotel Delmonico.
“Statements to the effect that only a relatively small percentage” of Germans were convinced Nazis or that a great majority of Germans’ were happy to help their Jewish fellow citizens when they could, have a bitter ring of irony for us who have suffered the agonizing truth in our bodies and in our hearts, ” Mr. Rosensaft said.
In the same vein, Mr. Norert Wollheim, former vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Liberated Jews, stressed that “the chapter of suffering, persecution and death which we have witnessed can never be closed.: Noting that in due time the Eichmann trial may share the fate of ‘Other headlines of yesterday, Mr. Wollheim declared: “Names like Bergen Belsen, Auschwitz, Maidanek and Treblinka which represent mankind’s darkest hour must never be forgotten. “
The meeting, which for the first time brought together two hundred survivors of one of Hitler’s most feared ‘factories of death, was chair ed by Mr. David Rosenthal, a former member of the Central Committee of the Liberated Jews, and Sam E. Bloch, a former member of the Administration of the Belsen D. P. camp after its liberation by the Allied Armies on April 15, 1945.