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Jewish Official in West Germany Disputes Rabbi’s Pessimistic View of Future There

An official of West Germany’s Jewish community yesterday disputed a Bonn rabbi’s pessimistic estimate of the future of Jews in that country. Dr. Hendryk Van Damm, general-secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Dr. Bernard Farkas, rabbi of Bonn and Aachen, erred when he said that there were only 26,000 Jews left In Germany, more than half of whom are past 50 years of age.

Dr. Farkas voiced his views in a report to the biennial convention of the World Council of Synagogues in London yesterday. Dr. Van Damm was attending the Conference of Jewish Organizations here. He said that “the average age of Jews in Germany during the last 10 years remains constant -under 46.” He said that there were 27,000 Jews affiliated with various communities in West Germany but there were others who were not affiliated but remained Jews and therefore must be counted as such. Dr. Van Damm said that Dr. Farkas had come to West Germany from Czechoslovakia a few years ago and was not a member of the presidium of the Union of Rabbis of the West German Federal Republic.

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