Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

German Embassy in Washington Suspends Official for Anti-jewish Slur

October 2, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Embassy of West Germany today made known that an employee of the German Consulate General in New York City has been suspended because of a “strong indication” that the employee voiced anti-Semitic statements. (A consulate spokesman in New York said that the suspended official, Dr. Hans von Saucken, has been summoned to Bonn and is on his way.)

Press attache Robert Borchardt of the German Embassy said “the principle of racial and religious tolerance is set down rigidly in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. The policy of strict compliance with this fundamental principle has been stressed to all civil servants.

“When it was recently brought to the attention of the Government that an employee of the German Consulate General in New York had made an allegedly anti-Semitic remark the Government felt obliged to send a member of the legal division of the Foreign Office to conduct an on-the-spot investigation. As a result of this investigation there is a strong indication that the employee has made the alleged remark, even though he himself denies it.

“The Foreign Office therefore has ordered the immediate suspension of the employee. This step has been taken in order to maintain the standards of the Foreign Service and to prevent any misunderstanding of the Government’s policy and position in this respect. “

The incident developed when von Saucken allegedly called Max Beer, a United Nations correspondent for Swiss and German newspapers, “a dirty Jew. ” The remark was made to several reporters, but not in the presence of Mr. Beer who was later informed of the slur.

Mr. Beer, an American citizen, a former president of the United Nations Correspondents Association and a veteran of 49 years in the newspaper field, cabled a protest to Bonn President Theodor Heuss and Ambassador Georg von Brioch-Oppert, onetime German observer at the UN and currently head of the personnel bureau of the Bonn Foreign Office. Mr. Beer lost many relatives in the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp.

After receiving no reply for five days from von Brioch-Oppert, von Saucken’s superior, Mr. Beer returned a decoration received last year from the German envoy for his UN reportage. Mr. Beer is equally prominent in this country and throughout Europe. Last week, the German Government sent Dr. Meyer lindenberg. an official of the legal department of the Foreign Office, to investigate. The von Saucken recall followed.

Recommended from JTA