ADL Asks Kissinger to Seek Claims Settlement from E, Germany Before U.S. Diplomatic Ties

The B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League has asked Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to withhold “diplomatic recognition and formal relations” from the East German Democratic Republic until “a firm and detailed advance commitment” is made to pay reparations to victims of the Nazi era. Seymour Graubard, ADL national chairman, suggested in a letter to Kissinger that the Secretary “make a public statement calling upon East Germany to initiate settlement of reparations and claims prior to any recognition by the United States.”

Graubard pointed out that the German Democratic Republic has never accepted its responsibility as a successor state to the Third Reich for Hitler’s criminal acts nor made any redress to his victims. He contrasted this attitude with that of the West German government which, over a period of many years, has made substantial reparation payments to Israel and to individual victims of Nazi cruelty who survived the Holocaust. Graubard observed that “East Germany is motivated by strongly antagonistic feelings towards Jews throughout the world, and that this attitude must be changed before diplomatic relations between our country and the East German regime are initiated.”

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