A.D.L. Reports Results of Survey on Jewish Position in Germany
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A.D.L. Reports Results of Survey on Jewish Position in Germany

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The results of a study on the Jewish position in Germany conducted by a special three-man committee of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith were made public here today. The group investigated conditions of life among the remaining 25,000 Jews in West Germany as well as current developments in the attitude of Germans toward civil rights.

The report of the committee states that any assurances that anti-Semitism no longer exists in Germany "are not borne out by the evident facts. " Opinion-testing since the war has at no time revealed a great lessening of anti-Semitism among Germans who lived through the Nazi period, the ADL group established. "Public incidents involving Jewish matters have often brought further evidence of this anti-Semitic feeling, " the report says.

"Only among the youth that knew not Hitler does reliable opinion-testing show any lessening of anti-Semitic prejudice, " the report states. "The degrees to which the Nazis succeeded in their indoctrination is revealed by the fact that, despite the war catastrophe, Germans do not reject Nazism with the same intensity with which they rejected the parallel authoritarianism and tyranny of communism. It should be noted, however, that at the present time neo-Nazism and Nazism as organized political movements appear to be at very low ebb."

The committee found that the average age of most of the 25,000 Jews now living in Germany is close to 60. "These people, " the report says, "live unto themselves very largely on small stipends provided by government pensions, by funds realized through restitutions of property or by outright relief subventions. Even this small community, however, maintains its synagogues, hospitals, old age homes, and other institutions. With very few children or young people in the group, the prospects for the rebirth of a flourishing Jewish life are poor indeed unless there is a marked change in trends.

"At the same time, we were heartened by the initial development in free Germany of a healthy complex of voluntary organizations of citizens devoted to promoting an understanding of the democratic processes, liberal education, civic affairs, and interreligious cooperation, " the ADL leaders reported. The committee was headed by Jacob Alson, ADL treasurer, and included Benjamin R. Epstein, the League’s national director, and Nathan C. Belth, pubic relations director.

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