COLOGNE (Jun. 8)
West Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops today urged Germans to seek forgiveness for Germany’s sins against Jews and others in World War II. The bishops said reparations payments to survivors of Nazi persecution were necessary but were not enough to atone for the crimes.
The bishops made the appeal in a statement issued by Joseph Cardinal Frings, head of West Germany’s Roman Catholic Bishops Conference. The statement said the bishops had decided to make the appeal in light of horrors revealed in Jerusalem in the course of the trial of Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann.
The bishops said “our people must do everything possible to rectify the wrongs done to the Jews and others. Material compensation is necessary but it is not sufficient. Therefore, pray in the spirit of atonement for forgiveness for the sins which were committed by some of our people.”