The German school system and German writers have “not done enough, by far, ” to enlighten the country, especially the youth, in regard to the dangers of anti-Semitism, Erich Kastner, president of the German PEN Club, said here today, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“I am convinced,” Mr. Kastner declared, “that the efforts to date to interpret the basic lessons we should learn from the days of Hitler have not gone far enough. This is especially true as far as the schools are concerned. The reasons for such inadequate enlightenment are manifold. However, I am convinced that German writers have not done enough in this direction.
“Our writers do concern themselves actively with the democratization of our country. But too many of them are not personally engaged in the fight against anti-Semitism. “
Mr. Kastner said he finds it difficult to ascertain whether the recent resurgence of anti-Semitism manifests a new trend or show only an accumulation of isolated incidents. “I dare not judge,” he stated. “However, ” he added, “the public counter-attacks against anti-Semitism, in the democratic press and elsewhere, do offer the hope that anti-Semitism will be kept under control and that, if there is a definite new trend in that direction, it will be fought by the Federal Republic. “
Mr. Kastner expressed the hope that the PEN Center in Israel, and the Yiddish PEN Club in New York, with both of which he keeps close contact, will accept the invitations sent to them for participation in the international meeting of PEN Clubs, scheduled to be held this year at Frankfurt. “I do hope they do not decline our invitations, “he said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.