Dr. Goldmann Urges Direct Talks with Germany on Jewish Claims
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Dr. Goldmann Urges Direct Talks with Germany on Jewish Claims

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Dr. Nahum Goldmann, acting chairman of the World Jewish Congress and co-chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, last night called upon the Israel Government and the Jewish people to negotiate directly with the West German Government for the payment of restitution and reparations claims and not to depend upon the Allied Governments to press Jewish claims against Germany.

Dr. Goldmann, who made the appeal in a speech before the annual conference of the British Section of the W.J.C., conferred with the American High Commissioner for Germany, John J. McCloy, during the week-end on various problems raised at the recent New York conference on restitution. He was scheduled to fly to Israel today.

Dr. Goldmann expressed confidence in West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s readiness to implement the offer he made to negotiate with Israel and the Jewish people on restitution claims against Germany. He said that Jews who wanted to depend on the Allies or anyone else but the Jewish people to negotiate its own claims were “naive,” and warned that speed in taking up the Adenauer offer was important because if Germany re-armed there was no way of predicting who would be in power in that country within a few decades. He urged Israel to mobilize public opinion and the support of the Allied Governments behind its claims.

At this morning’s session of the W. J. C. conference it was reported that the British section has proposed to the British and other Allied Governments whose nationals died in Germany that the burial sites of all victims of Nazi persecution should come under international supervision. The report, which stressed that the move had been undertaken because of the frequent desecration of Jewish graves and cemeteries in Germany, said that the proposal has received sympathetic consideration from the British Government.


Dr. Israel Goldstein, chairman of the American Jewish Congress and head of the W. J. C. Western Hemisphere executive, asserted that Latin America has become the center of the international Nazi movement. He linked the Nazi and Arab communities in Latin America, and pointed out that in some regions this combination was more influential politically and larger numerically than the Jewish communities. He added that anti-Semites were attempting to use Latin American government security programs aimed at Eastern European governments against Jews in South America, many of whom were born in East and Central Europe.

At last night’s session, Dr. Goldstein insisted that the Jews owed Germany nothing in return for its fulfillment of their just claims, adding that even fulfillment of these claims cannot expunge the record of Nazi crimes and outrages against the Jews. He said the W. J. C. had participated in the New York conference on German restitution not to relieve Germany of its responsibilities through the payment of a single lump sum, but to recover “what still can be recovered.”

Before the parley opened, Dr. Goldstein said that while the Jewish people’s moral account with Germany may take generations to liquidate, depending on the degree of German penitence and atonement, Germany was able immediately to make material amends in some measure commensurate with the enormity of its crime. This issue, he asserted, should be given priority on the agenda of discussions between the United States and Britain with Germany.

Recent manifestations of neo-Nazism in Germany, Dr. Goldstein said, raised the question whether it would not be advisable to include in the contractual arrangement the Western Powers are now negotiating with the Federal German Republic, provisions for Western supervision of such matters as restitution, re-education, de-nazification and control of cemeteries.

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