Paris (Nov. 25)
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, said here yesterday he has instructed Mr. Benjamin Ferencz, the representative of the Claims Conference negotiating with the East German Committee of anti-Fascist Resistance. Fighters, to refuse to accept $1 million offered by the Committee. The East Germans made the offer “on humanitarian grounds, as a one-time financial payment to needy U.S. citizens of Jewish faith who were persecuted by the Nazi regime.”
In view of the great wrong done to tens of thousands of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in East Germany, Goldmann said, the offer of $1 million is not to be taken seriously, especially in view of the fact that West Germany has provided until now about $25 billion in reparations to Nazi victims. Another reason for the rejection, Goldmann said, was that it is only for Jewish victims now living in the U.S.
The Claims Conference has never accepted any special compensation for citizens of any one country but negotiation for all Nazi victims, most of whom are now in Israel. The Claims Conference will not be a party to any attempt by East Germany to discharge its responsibility by a token amount, and will continue to claim real compensation from East Germany, Goldmann said.
In 1974, the U.S. made restitution for Nazi victims an issue in negotiations leading to the recognition of East Germany. The Conference on Jewish Claims and the East German committee began negotiations shortly after diplomatic ties were established on Sept. 4, 1974.