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Adenauer Rejects Proposals for New Steps Toward Denazification

January 11, 1960
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Chancellor Konrad Adenauer today rejected proposals that the German Government establish a special commission for denazification of anti-Semitic and anti-democratic elements in the federal administration, Judiciary, educational services and the press.

Dr. Gerhard Schroeder, Minister of the Interior, told newspapermen here that the Chancellor “will not consider such a move,” declaring that such action might result in “unnecessary difficulties.” “With the help of the people,” Dr. Schroeder said, “the authorities can deal with the problem, without resorting to such drastic step.”

A “White Book” on Nazi atrocities is being prepared by experts in London and Vienna, and will be distributed to all schools in West Germany, Dr. Schroeder added.

The specific proposal for the creation of a new denazification commission was presented over the week-end to Foreign Minister Heinrich von Brentano by Alec Easterman, political director of the European department of the World Jewish Congress.

The need for “fundamental action” by the Government was emphasized here by Zachariah Schuster, European director for the American Jewish Committee, who cited the need for eliminating former Nazis from policy-making positions in the Government, including Cabinet ministries and the field of education.

Expressing the hope that Cabinet action “will be more in keeping with the hope and attitude of the Job to be done,” Mr. Schuster declared “there can be no doubt about the real shock, shame and indignation” provoked by the recent anti-Semitic incidents “among all decent and responsible elements” in West Germany. However, he added, the measures thus far proposed “still do not correspond to this shock and indignation.”

Erich Ollenhauer, chairman of the opposition Social Democratic party, proposed yesterday that the United Nations investigate the current wave of anti-Semitic excesses in West Germany and charged that no solution was possible as long as former Nazis held high posts in Chancellor Adenauer’s Government.

Ollenhauer cited by name such officials as Theodor Oberlaender, Minister for Expellees and War Victims, Dr. Hans Globke, and Minister of the Interior Gerhard Schroeder.

Protests against the activities and demands for action were also made by Protestant Church leaders, German University Women, the German Soldiers Association, Frankfurt Mayor Werner Bockelmann, and the Hessian Trade Unions.


More arrests were announced today in efforts at various levels of the West German Government to apprehend and punish the culprits in the anti-Semitic actions in the Federal Republic.

Werner Schaefer, 18, a locksmith, was arrested in Aschaffenburg. Heinz Hetten-hausen, 42, a Dortmund waiter was sentenced to four months in jail for libeling Jews.

A 19-year-old soldier at the Boelingen military base was suspended for anti-Jewish activities. He was reported to be a member of the Deutsches Reichs Party.

West Berlin police yesterday arrested nine youngsters for anti-Semitic daubings at the Marienborn border station between West and East Germany.

West Berlin’s school superintendent, Carl-Heinz Evers, announced today he would take immediate disciplinary action against school teachers who refuse to teach the facts about the Hitler regime. He pledged also to keep former Nazis out of teaching jobs and educational administrative posts.

West Berlin’s Mayor Willi Brandt asked the West German Parliament to deal with the incidents at its meeting Thursday. He urged action by the West German Federal Republic against all anti-Semites and neo-Nazis.

Bishop Richard Silbelius, the president of the German Protestant Church, sent a cable to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Israel expressing the “horror and deep perplexity” of German Christianity over the anti-Semitic incidents.

Meanwhile, at Kaiserlauntern, West Germany, the right-wing Deutsches Reichs Party, two of whose members committed the Christmas Eve Cologne synagogue desecration which touched off the current world-wide wave of anti-Semitic incidents, concluded its “State Conference” yesterday ahead of schedule. The party called off a big demonstration, which had been scheduled for today in the city’s Agricultural Hall, after the Rhineland-Pfaltz Government banned the conference and other public demonstrations.

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