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Major U.S. Jewish Organizations Criticize Nomination of Kiesinger

Major American Jewish organizations today voiced harsh criticism of the nomination of Kurt Georg Kiesinger as the German Christian Democratic candidate for the Bonn Chancellorship.

The American Jewish Congress called on the U.S. State Department to protest Germany’s “astonishing political callousness, which betrays the wide felt prevalent feeling in Germany that the country can now afford to disregard its past in choosing its political leaders for the future.”

Dr. John Slawson, executive vice-president of the American Jewish Committee, declared: “With memories of the Nazi period still fresh in the mind of the world, we would certainly not wish to see persons with an admitted Nazi background in the highest levels of the West German Government. Many sensitive people in this country and West Europe will undoubtedly see this as an affront to the millions who were brutally destroyed by Nazism in the greatest human calamity of all time.”

Benjamin R. Epstein, national director of the Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, stated: “More than anyone, Germans themselves should find it incredible that the party of Adenauer and Erhard has turned to Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a man with a Nazi record, to lead their party and nation. If Mr. Kiesinger is acceptable to the German people and to the other parties with which the Christian Democratic Party will have to form a coalition, then the world has cause for concern and will have to reevaluate German commitment to democracy.”

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