Cologne Prelate, Seeking Apology, May Skip Brotherhood Week Talk

The office of Josef Cardinal Frings, Archbishop of Cologne, said today that the prelate had decided he would deliver a scheduled lecture for Brotherhood Week only if the Cologne Jewish community renounced “formally and publicly” anti-Jewish statements attributed to him by a visiting American rabbi.

The Cardinal’s office declared that the 80-year-old archbishop had been cited out of context by Rabbi Max Nussbaum who had quoted the Cardinal as saying that German Jews were to some extent responsible for the rise of National Socialism. Rabbi Nussbaum, chairman of the American section of the World Jewish Congress, met with the Cardinal on a visit to West Germany last month. Rabbi Nussbaum’s statement has been widely quoted abroad as well as in Germany.

The Archdiocese statement said that the cardinal had always assailed Hitler’s actions against the Jews “from the deepest reaches of his soul,” and that the cardinal had only sought to indicate to Rabbi Nussbaum the social conditions in Germany which preceded the rise of Nazism.

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