LONDON (Mar. 18)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann expressed the hope here last night that West Germany would approve soon a measure to provide indemnification to an estimated 150,000 Jewish victims of the Nazi holocaust who were unable to file claims before the October 1953 deadline of West German indemnification laws. They were unable to file because they were in Iron Curtain countries at the time.
Dr. Goldmann spoke at a dinner honoring Israel Sieff, British Zionist and communal leader on 50 years of public service. He told the gathering that “normalization of relations” between West Germany and Israel was “both inevitable and necessary for both sides.” He expressed confidence that West Germany would resolve the issue of extension of the statute of limitations for prosecution of Nazi war criminals “within the next few days and this chapter closed satisfactorily.”
Tcuching on Soviet discrimination against Russian Jewry, Dr Goldmann said this was “not a matter of simple anti-Semitism or of particular attitudes such as keeping Jews out of the Soviet diplomatic service.” The point, he said, was that Jews had no facilities for cultural development, such as other ethnic groups in the Soviet Union had. If this continued, he asserted, Soviet Jews “would disappear in due time.” Jews and non-Jews, he declared, were trying to persuade Soviet authorities that it was to their interest, as well as a matter of justice and fairness, that they desist from this policy,
Dr. Goldmann proposed a toast to Mr. Sieff, which was seconded by Sir Isaac Wolfson, British Jewish philanthropist. He called the guest of honor “a leader with great moral authority in Jewish life” who had acquired that status “by sheer force of personality and great qualities of mind and heart. His interests embrace the totality of Jewish life and thus finds himself a natural leader of the World Jewish Congress, holding the formal title of vice-president and chairman of the European executive but contributing much more.”