BONN (Jul. 13)
Israel’s Ambassador to West Germany, Yochanan Meroz, had the occasion last week to observe, as Mark Twain once said, that reports of his death were premature. But he thanked Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, nevertheless, for his warm eulogy.
The incident, disclosed here this week, began when Meroz cancelled an appointment to meet the government’s chief spokesman, Klaus Boelling. Boelling, who was attending a Cabinet meeting, was given a note by an aide saying Meroz was “getoetet.” The word means killed but it is also a colloquialism for cancelled.
Boelling assumed the dictionary meaning was intended and passed an urgent note to the Chancellor who halted the proceedings to eulogize the Israeli envoy. Meroz, who learned of the incident later, told reporters he was very pleased with the Chancellor’s remarks.