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Bonn Government Assailed for Evading Moral Obligations to the Jews

December 15, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The West German Government was assailed here today on two counts of evading their “moral obligations” to the Jewish people. Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization and president of the American Jewish Congress, leveled the criticism on the eve of the arrival here of Chancellor Ludwig Erhard for discussions with President Johnson.

The Jewish leader charged Erhard’s Government with “inexplicable and unjustifiable delay” in arranging economic negotiations with Israel following the conclusion earlier this year of diplomatic relations. He also termed the action of the West German Parliament “shocking” in deferring compensation payments to certain categories of Nazi victims until 1968 “for reasons of economy.”

Dr. Prinz said that the deferment of payments would “impose severe and direct hardships upon many Nazi victims who are destitute, infirm and elderly and upon many whose physical rehabilitation and retraining waits upon such indemnification for injuries and losses sustained at the hands of the German people under Hitler.”

He urged that Chancellor Erhard continue to put “moral principle” above petty politics, suggesting that the German leader “take whatever steps are required to reverse the recent action of the Bundestag” with respect to the indemnification of Nazi victims. He also urged the West German Chancellor to “act decisively to ensure that the long-delayed economic negotiations with Israel be initiated at once.”

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