Jewish Claims Conference Meets in London on German Indemnification

The board of directors of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany met here today to discuss a number of questions dealing with the West German restitution and indemnification programs for Jewish victims of Nazism. The Bonn Government is now considering amendments to the restitution and indemnification laws which expire at the end of this year.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Conference, reported to the board about negotiations he has held on the subject with leaders of the German Government, Parliament and political parties. The meeting authorized Dr. Goldmann and the two other leading Conference officers to take whatever steps are necessary to seek implementation of a German legislative program sought by the Conference, and to improve and accelerate the payment of indemnification claims to individual Jewish victims of Nazism. The two other officers to work on this program with Dr. Goldmann are Jacob Blaustein, senior vice-president of the Conference, and Moses A. Leavitt, treasurer.

At a news conference following the board meeting, Dr. Goldmann said he would go to Germany this week. He said he may meet with West Germany’s Finance Minister, Dr. Heins Starke, or arrange a conference with Dr. Starke later this year, when the Bonn Parliament takes a recess.

The “ideal” solution from the Jewish point of view, Dr. Goldmann said, would be an improved German law covering the outstanding claims. But, he said, there are other suggestions for a solution, and “it is all a matter for negotiation.”

“One must always remember,” he added, “that the ideal solution is not always attainable. However, before a final agreement is made with the German authorities, the negotiators would go back to a full, plenary session of the Claims Conference, so that any agreement would have to be endorsed by the Conference as a whole.”

During his news conference, Dr. Goldmann said, on an unrelated topic, that he hoped to settle in Israel in the autumn of 1963, when his home in Jerusalem would be ready.

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