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Congress of Chur Ches in Germany Discusses Relations with Jews

Three thousand West German churchmen, representing every Protestant denomination and community in the country, opened here today a discussion on the subject of relations between Christians and Jews. The topic is one of the items on the agenda of the Congress of German Protestant Churches, the first of its kind in 20 years, which has been in preparation for five years.

“We must try to find a common language with our Jewish brothers,” said the president of the congress, Richard von Weizacker. The chairman of a “working party” that prepared the session on relations with the Jewish people, Prof. Helmut Gollwitzer, told the session: “The very existence of Israel is proof of the existence of wonders.” Prof. Hans Joachim Kraus, of Hamburg, one of Germany’s leading theologians, said “Israel is the people of God. It is proof of God’s will.”

Prof. Ernest Simon, of the Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, a guest participant, told the congress that Germany’s principal “act of reparation” to the Jewish people could be an effort by Germany to bring peace between Israel and the Arab states. Germany, he said, could “work for peace, could adopt a policy which will make peace between Israel and its neighbors possible one day.”

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