BONN (Jul. 14)
Two matters of Jewish concern are occupying the attention of World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman, who is visiting here with top West German officials and leaders of the Jewish community.
A spokesman for Bronfman said the main items on his agenda are how West Germany plans to observe the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht in November, and the scandal surrounding the late Werner Nachmann, president of the Central Council of Jews in West Germany, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars in reparations funds entrusted to the council’s care.
Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass that occurred Nov. 9-10, 1938, was the first organized pogrom of the Nazi ere. It marked the start of public and sanctioned persecution of Jews, which culminated in the Holocaust.
The WJC spokesman said there was a marked contrast between the way West Germany is confronting its past and the attitude in Austria where President Kurt Waldheim symbolizes forgetfulness.
With respect to the Nachmann scandal, the spokesman said the WJC is concerned “that the victims do not suffer and there is no cover-up.”
He noted that there has been no serious attempt in West Germany to use the scandal for anti-Semitic purposes.
Bronfman was scheduled to meet Chancellor Helmut Kohl Friday before he leaves Bonn.
Bronfman has already met with representatives of most of the major political parties, with Foreign Ministry officials and with the ambassadors of the United States and Israel.