JERUSALEM (Jun. 24)
Several hundred students met today on the campus of the Hebrew University in a silent demonstration of “spiritual stock-taking” in anticipation of the arrival of the first West German Ambassador to Israel. The participants each wore a pin depicting six burning candles in memory of the 6, 000, 000 European Jews murdered by the Nazis with an inscription “We shall remember forever.”
University rector-elect Nathan Rottenstreich told the gathering that West Germany’s move to establish diplomatic relations with Israel had been prompted by political and not ethical reasons. He urged his auditors not to forget the Nazipast, declaring that “it is easier to forget than to remember.” He said that while Jews must not drown themselves in memories without looking to the future, “we must be rooted in the past to which the six million belonged.”
The issue of the projected appointment of a former German army officer as West Germany’s first Ambassador to Israel was raised in the Knesset last night and was referred to a Parliamentary Committee after a sharp debate. Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, insisted that no notification had yet been received from Bonn on the name of its nominee. It has been widely rumored that West Germany has chosen Dr. Rolf Pauls, a career diplomat and former Wehrmacht officer during the Hitler regime, as its nominee.
Israel Barzilai, a leader of Mapam, declared that West Germany was “exploiting” the establishment of diplomatic relations by the nomination of Dr. Pauls. He contended that the nomination was designed to “rehabilitate” all Germans who had served in World War II and he urged the Government to withhold approval. Mrs. Meir opposed debate on the issue but expressed readiness to have the issue referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee.