TORONTO (Jan. 31)
Many of this city’s prominent civic and religious organizations and leaders endorsed a statement delivered today to the Toronto German Consulate which calls upon the Bonn Government to strengthen democratic institutions and to reeducate the German people politically.
Presentation of the statement climaxed a rally held last night in the Toronto Coliseum, attended by 6,000 people, to denounce the rise of neo-Nazi forces in Germany. The gathering was called to protest a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program of an interview taped in Germany that featured Adolf von Thadden, deputy chairman of the National Democratic Party, a neo-Nazi group.
Endorsers of the statement given to the German Consulate included the Toronto Anglican Diocese, Canadian-Polish Congress, Canadian Jewish Congress, Czechoslovakian groups, Toronto’s mayor and ex-mayor, Canadian Legion officials, and well-known professors, clergymen and labor leaders.
The mass meeting last night was organized by the Metropolitan Toronto Citizens Committee Concerned with Neo-Nazism in West Germany, headed by a labor leader, Eamon Park, and a Jewish Congress leader, Louis Herman. Speakers included a Cabinet Minister, Jean Marchand, and two members of Parliament.
David Lewis, deputy leader of the new Canadian Democratic Party, while emphasizing the value of public broadcasts of important issues and of political “non-intervention,” severely attacked the CBC von Thadden interview as a “misuse of freedom and a device for offering misinformation, not fact.” The broadcast, he charged, presented von Thadden as a man who “loved dogs and children, a characteristic attributed to a number of Nazi murderers.”
Immigration and Manpower Minister Marchand recalled von Thadden’s expressions of “regret” for the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. He said Canadian laws would be revised to bar extremists from the country.
BRONFMAN QUESTIONS PERTINENCE OF RADIO FORUM FOR VON THADDEN
Meanwhile, Samuel Bronfman, chairman of the CJC board of governors, and World Jewish Congress vice-president, assailed today the Canadian broadcasting system for giving von Thadden a forum. “It is pertinent to ask,” Mr. Bronfman said, “why von Thadden so anxiously wishes to speak in places like France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Why does he seek a platform?”
Mr. Bronfman added: “We would have no complaint about a program presented in depth and in perspective which examines the resurgence of political extremism of a Nazi type in West Germany. But we do take serious objection to a program built around the figure and personality of Adolf von Thadden.”