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Israel Bringing Pressure on East Germany to Pay Reparations

January 3, 1973
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Israel officials revealed that the Israel Foreign Ministry has been applying pressure on other nations to urge East Germany to assume responsibility for the Nazi holocaust and to pay reparations. The question of East German responsibility has arisen in the past few weeks with the likelihood that a flock of states will now extend diplomatic recognition of the East German government in an about-face of the past 25 years following the realization of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s ostpolitik.

The Israel government at the Cabinet session Sunday, asked Foreign Minister Abba Eban to apply pressure on the United States and West European states. But a Foreign Ministry spokesman after wards conceded that these contacts have already begun and a “favorable response” has been produced in some quarters. The Israelis would like other nations to hold off giving diplomatic recognition to East Germany until it accepts its responsibility for the holocaust and makes suitable payment to the Israelis as West Germany has already done.

The Israelis have made it clear that they will not vote for East German membership in the United Nations, or extend diplomatic recognition to the East German state until it meets both of these conditions. Israel has stopped short of demanding that friendly countries simply refuse to recognize East Germany until it comes forward with an assumption of responsibility. Rather the Israelis are imploring their friends to apply strong pressure on the East Germans to assume that responsibility.

In 1951, Israel approached both West Germany and East Germany with requests for restitution. West Germany eventually paid hundreds of millions of dollars. East Germany never replied formally, but its propagandists have always maintained that there are no. Nazis in East Germany only in West Germany. Jerusalem is expected to release evidence shortly proving that this is not the case.

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