CAPETOWN (May. 10)
Premier Balthazar Vorster declared in Parliament yesterday that a thorough government investigation of a scuffle between Jewish and German youth in a Johannesburg suburban beerhall had found no evidence of neo-Nazism or anti-Semitism. Speaking during an urgent debate on the development, the Premier blamed the press for inflaming opinions “thus engendering the atmosphere” for the clash last Friday when some 200 Jewish youth went to the tavern, which is frequented by German immigrants to protest a salute to Hitler last month by the Germans.
The Premier warned that “Europe’s old fights and vendettas must not be imported into South Africa,” He said the Government’s attitude toward Jews had been made clear and that no one in South Africa wanted anti-Semitism. He appealed to Members of Parliament to use their influence with the newspapers to avoid inflaming matters. He also said that South Africans were becoming tired of such actions by any nationality students. Police used teargas and clubs to disperse a large and unruly crowd who gathered outside the beerhall during the scuffle.
He said that no newspaperman who cared for good relations among South Africa’s peoples would incite them and that those who did so deliberately were doing harmful things. The Premier warned that persons who took matters into their own hands in such disputes could not expect to be released on payment of fines. He said no one desired such incidents and that they would not be tolerated. He also asserted that some of the young German immigrants who had shouted “Heil Hitler” in the beerhall had done so as a “jest” and not because they are Nazis or neo-Nazis.” He also said that exaggerated reports of the “jest” had aroused Jewish feeling.