Mertes and the American Jewish Committee

The American Jewish Committee said today that Deputy Foreign Minister Alois Mertes of West Germany was invited to speak at its 79th annual meeting here (May 1-5) and was accepted months before the controversy over President Reagan’s planned visit to the Bitburg cemetery.

The AJC offered this explanation of the sequence following a statement last week by Mertes that Jews are really not so upset over Reagan’s plans. Speaking of signs of “hope and encouragement,” he referred to the AJC’s invitation which, he noted, came from the organization’s president, Howard Friedman. (See April 26 Bulletin.)

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