Jewish Youth to Be Drafted into the West German Army

The West German army (Bundeswehr), expecting a shortage of manpower over the next two years, is re-examining a long-standing unofficial arrangement whereby Jewish young men of military age have been exempted from the draft for historical and political reasons.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned of several cases recently where young Jews have experienced difficulty obtaining exemptions. This is because all 18-year-olds are now needed to fill draft quotas. Such had not been the case in the past. The recruitment of Jews has become a subject of discussion by State officials and by various Jewish institutions.

In severed instances, Jewish leaders here have told young people that the issue could become a test of the Jewish community’s will to be accepted as an integral part of West German society. Pressure is mounting to treat all recruits equally and exceptions are no longer tolerated.

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