American Jewish Committee Delegation Confers with Kiesinger on German Situation
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American Jewish Committee Delegation Confers with Kiesinger on German Situation

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The American Jewish Committee disclosed today that six of its top leaders had a long private meeting with West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger in Washington on Friday to discuss current developments in West Germany. The delegates expressed concern over political radicalization and the National Democratic Party in West Germany. It also raised with the Chancellor the recent extension of the statute of limitations on Nazi war crimes and the Middle East situation and the prospects for peace there.

(Dr. Kiesinger told the National Press Club in Washington Friday that his government was unhappy about Arab pressures and the establishment of diplomatic relations by a number of Arab states with East Germany but he said Germany would continue to “pursue our neutral policy toward the parties in the Middle East.”)

A Committee spokesman said the delegation had found Dr. Kiesinger’s replies “reassuring” and that the participants were assured that the West German Government would be alert to the impact of the NPD on the current government and that the government would do all in its power to ensure the indictment of Nazi war criminals.

The Committee spokesman quoted Chancellor Kiesinger as expressing the hope that consultations of this nature would continue both in the United States and in Germany. The meeting was described as one of a series the American Jewish Committee has had with the West German leadership in recent years.

Participating in the meeting for the American Jewish Committee were David Sher, chairman of its board of governors; Morris H. Berggreen, chairman of its European Committee; Judge Theodore Tannenwald Jr., chairman of its Israel Committee; Bertram H. Gold, executive vice-president; Jerry Goodman, executive affairs specialist, and Hyman Bookbinder, its Washington representative.


Earlier, a leader of Conservative Judaism, accused Chancellor Kiesinger of attempting to “whitewash” the National Democratic Party in order to curry favor with its followers and win right-wing votes in West Germany’s national elections next month.

Henry R. Rapaport, president of the United Synagogue of America, made his charges in connection with Chancellor Kiesinger’s visit to Washington. He took issue with Chancellor Kiesinger’s statement that the NPD “is not neo-Nazi, in spite of evidence to the contrary.” He said that statement “will to a considerable extent help to spur the revival of Nazism in West Germany and eventually accelerate the rapid decline of Chancellor Kiesinger’s own party.”

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