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Germans Find Relations Between Israel and Germany Deteriorating

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A West German Parliamentary leader and a German youth group who have recently returned from visits to Israel declared here that relations between Israel and West Germany are reaching a crisis point.

Dr. Carlo Schmid, vice-president of the Bundestag, said in an interview that “the situation has deteriorated noticeably.” The youth group consisting of 28 high school teachers spent three weeks working and traveling in Israel. Representatives of the group told a news conference that the Israelis they met were seriously disturbed over developments in West Germany.

They said that Israelis were most concerned over Bonn’s refusal to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, the West German Government’s failure to take action against German scientists working for the Egyptian armaments industry and the disinterested attitude of the West German public toward Nazi war crimes trials. The teachers also reported that Israelis found West German official explanations on these matters unconvincing.

Dr. Schmid reported that he found the same complaints. He emphasized that Israelis–both Government officials and the nation at large–are worried about the German rocket scientists in Nasser’s employ. “The fear is very great.” he added. “Israelis are worried about annihilation.” He expressed the hope that the West German Parliament would approve a Social Democratic proposal enabling the Bonn Government to take action against German experts helping to produce weapons to be used in a war of aggression.

Regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations, Dr. Schmid said he did not expect Chancellor Erhard’s government to take such action in the near future. Instead, he suggested, West Germany could move toward closer diplomatic ties with Israel by a series of lesser steps.

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