Springer Says Germany Should Make Greater Effort to Understand, Help Israel

Renewed effort by the German government, industry and other elements in the country to support the Jewish people and Israel has been called for by Axel Springer, a leading West German publisher. He stated that the citizens of Germany, irrespective of political leanings, demand that today’s Germany should openly embrace the Jewish cause and that of Israel. However he noted, the present West German government increasingly expresses polite reticence whenever the fate of the Jews and the existence of Israel are concerned. And industry, he added, is not much better. When attempts are made for scientific and engineering cooperation with Israeli institutions, the opportunities are often politely refused by German companies which point out the traditional interests of the German economy in the Arab countries. The comments were made in connection with the difficulty experienced by Jews in emigrating from the Soviet Union and by what Springer describes as the “neo-antisemitism” now found in eastern Europe. The statement appeared in a recent issue of Die Welt, a leading national newspaper, and charges that German politicians are hesitant to criticize the Soviets due to their hopes for an accommodation with eastern Europe.

However, Spring wrote, the opposite is true. There are no tangible signs of any concession from the east and Russia keeps right on strengthening her positions west and east of Suez and stirs up the Arab fire against Israel. “Reconciliation between Germans and Jews is not a task to be discharged merely through correct diplomatic relations with Israel,” Springer stated. It is not a work which can succeed through neutrality; in the case of Israel the German engagement must be clearer.” Springer pointed to the increased number of Germans, especially young people, visiting Israel as proof of the deep interest in that country and its future. “They form a stream which would be far far greater if more public funds were devoted to their cause” he continued and said that it would be a fatal mistake if this important work were to be set aside. Springer, who has been long known for his support of the Jewish people, concluded his statement by observing that an important part of the concept of German interest in the Jews is that “Israel’s enemies cannot be our friends and that there is no room for tactics in the face of morality.”

NEXT STORY