LONDON (Jun. 1)
Insofar as claims against Germany are concerned Israel is in a category of its own, Hermann Abs, head of the Bonn delegation to the international conference here on Germany’s debts, told the Jewish Chronicle this week-end before departing for the West German capital.
Herr Abs, one of the important German leaders standing in the way of a satisfactory West German offer to the Israel Government, declared that he is willing to admit that whatever settlement is accepted by Israel should be paid out in a shorter time than Germany’s commercial debts are paid, although he reiterated his view that Israel’s claim should not receive priority over those of other nations. He added that there is a moral and “even sancrosanct aspect to this issue.”
(The New York Times reported from Bonn today that Herr Abs had offered the Israelis a deal whereby the Jewish State would accept a program of “initial restitution” calling for the delivery of about $71,430,000 worth of goods, but would agree to negotiate the settlement of the overall claims at a later time. The Israelis refused, according to the Times.)
The Jewish Observer reported that German proposals last week to Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Jewish Agency, in Paris were of a very different calibre from the offer by Abs. It was said that Prof. Franz Boehm reportedly “informed Dr. Goldmann that the Federal German Government accepted in principle the contention that Israel was entitled to claim $750,000,000 in reparations.” Boehm was also reported to have stated that the payment to Israel could be made in a period of eight years, if the reparations were to be in the form of goods.