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Israeli Delegation of Nazi Victims Leaves Bonn ‘bitterly Disappointed’

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An Israeli delegation of victims of Nazism returned to Israel today after a week of fruitless talks with West German officials about improvements in compensation and restitution for various classes of such victims.

The meetings between the Israelis, led by Supreme Court Justice A. Witkon, and the West German officials were reliably reported as without result. The Israelis left for Israel “bitterly disappointed” after meeting with all key members of the restitution and compensation committee of the Bundestag. They also talked with other influential leaders of Parliament, such as Rainer Barzel, the floor leader for Chancellor Ludwig Erhard’s Christian Democratic Union; and Gerhard Jain; the legal and military affairs expert of the opposition, who was formerly chairman of the restitution committee.

The delegation also met with Dr. Heinrich Krone, Minister Without Portfolio and confidante of former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. They did not meet with Finance Minister Rolf Dahlgren, who opposed any change of West Germany’s restitution and compensation laws on grounds of budgetary considerations, because he was not in the country during the visit.

West Germany has responded to demands for extension of benefits by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and Jewish refugee organizations with several amendments which have been held up in the Parliament’ s Budget and Restitution Committee since November 1963. Originally the amendments were to have had second and third readings by last Easter. This schedule has been extended to summer, it was considered unlikely that there would be floor action even by then.

Delayed as they are, the amendments have been sharply criticized by the Claims Conference and the other Jewish organizations, a number of whose representatives appeared last week before the Bundestag or invitation, where they protested the proposed extensions.

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