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Germany’s Jewish Community is Shocked over the Murder of a Prominent German Jewish Leader

The murder of a prominent Jewish leader in Erlangen, Bavaria last Friday has shocked West Germany’s Jewish community because of its apparent racial and political motivation. The victim, Shlomo Levin, 69, chair was of the Association for Christian-Jewish Cooperation, was shot to death along with a friend, Friday Poeschke, 57, in the latter’s home. Poeschke, who is not Jewish was the widow of a Social Democratic anti-Nazi activist.

Police have assigned a 20-member homicide squad to investigate the crime and have offered a 20,000 Mark reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Immediately after the shooting, the police said the assailants would be found among enemies, of Israel and the Jews but they did not repeat that speculation and insisted later that there were no clues.

No organization or individual has claimed responsibility for the killings. Premier Franz-Josef Strauss of Bavaria denounced the crime and promised that every effort will be made to trace those responsible

Levin came to West Germany in the late 1950s from Israel where he is known to have a family. He was chairman for sever of year of the Jewish community of Nuremberg, near Erlangen, and for a time owned the Ner Tamid Publishing Company which specialized in Jewish books.

Werner Nachman, chairman of the Jewish community of West Germany, condemned the murder which he said, was aimed against all democrats in the country. He denied a rumor that Levin had been a personal aid to Mashe Dayan when the latter was Israel’s Defense Minister. A similar denial was issued by the Israel Embassy in Bonn.

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