Bonn (Aug. 30)
A Protestant cleric denounced the vandals who destroyed a stone marker which identified the site of the former synagogue of Roedelheim near Frankfurt which was destroyed by the Nazis. Parson Heinrich Dippel, who addressed a meeting at the scene of the vandalism which had been called to protest the act, termed the destruction of the marker barbaric.
He declared that such acts of violence are reminders of neo-Nazi activity in West Germany which deserves to be sharply condemned and which should alarm every citizen. He also warned that the neo-Nazis will not rest content with destroying inanimate objects, such as the marker, but will eventually unleash violence against people.
Dippel also criticized the community of Roedelheim for failing to act against recently published textbooks and pamphlets dealing with local history which failed to contain a single word of appreciation for the important Jewish community which once existed there. He called on the leaders of the community to identify those who were responsible for expelling the some 120 Jews from Roedelheim during the war and for transporting them to the death camps in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz,
Dippel also attacked a recent plan of the local community to reconstruct a former Nazi-built memorial site for the victims of World War I. The site was inaugurated by the Nazis in 1938 but was later destroyed. The local Christian Democratic Union (CDU) wants it to be rebuilt to commemorate the victims of both wars.
The parson also used the occasion of the meeting to analyze the theological sources of anti-Semitism and criticized what he termed the fatal thesis of Jewish responsibility for the death of Jesus. He also said that some of Martin Luther’s writings were saturated with anti-Jewish hatred.