BONN (Jun. 15)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, warned Chancellor Ludwig Erhard at a conference here today that, unless all deferred payments due claimants for indemnification are paid in full by the end of 1968, “all Jewish organizations will launch strong protests, which I would regard as justified.”
Dr. Goldmann also told the Chancellor that the deadline of September 20, 1966, for filing claims under West Germany’s “final indemnification law,” must be extended. It will be impossible for some claimants, especially elderly persons, to prepare their claims before the September 20 cut-off date, Dr. Goldmann said. As a result of the conversation with Mr. Erhard, he declared, “I am sure the deadline will be prolonged for at least a year.”
Concerning the deferment of full payments to indemnification claimants, Chancellor Erhard told the Jewish leader that the postponement was necessary due to the German Government’s budgetary difficulties. “I told the Chancellor,” Dr. Goldmann reported, “that those payments are privileged and of a special moral character. I expressed my concern over the fact that, due to the budget curtailment law passed by Germany this year, those payments are limited to 40 percent this year.” It was at this point that Dr. Goldmann warned that the payments must be made in full by 1968, lest West Germany be subjected to protests by Jewish organizations.
While visiting Bonn, Dr. Goldmann met also briefly with Dr. Konrad Adenauer, the former Chancellor. He expressed his particular satisfaction with Dr. Adenauer’s recent visit to Israel. He met also with Dr. Eugen Gerstenmaier, president of the Bundestag, lower house of West Germany’s parliament, to discuss the latter’s scheduled appearance, next August before a plenary session of the World Jewish Congress in Brussels.