NEW YORK (Oct. 9)
Dean Heinrich Gruber, anti-Nazi German Evangelical pastor, today called upon churches and all Christians to wage a battle against anti-Semitism. In an address before the American Christian Association for Israel at a luncheon at the Inter-Church Center, the clergyman urged that Christians set aside a special day of atonement “for the nightmare that anti-Semitism has brought to the Jewish people, over the ages,” suggesting “Kristallnacht” on November 9 as an appropriate occasion. On this day in 1938 the Nazis in Germany launched their attack upon the synagogues.
Dean Gruber, who was thrown into concentration camps for aiding Jews, proposed also that Christians support Israel, a nation which he said was “born out of the recent holocaust and out of the sufferings of past centuries.”
“What would have happened to the victimized Jews of our day–in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa–had there not been Israel’s open doors of compassion?” he asked. He said that many Christians do not understand Israel’s vital role in the world but at the same time concern for Israel should not “diminish our compassion for the needs of the Arab peoples, who fortunately have nations and lands and resources with which to work out their salvation.”
Dean Gruber urged that West Germany establish diplomatic relations with Israel immediately, adding that “consideration for Arab countries should not prevent us from doing that which we recognize as a moral responsibility.” He disclosed that he would lead a group of German Christians to Israel next month “so that they may come to dedicate themselves to aid the Jewish people and the people of Israel.”