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Israel Will Demand East Germany Settle Claims, Sharett Declares

September 15, 1952
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Israel will do its almost to force East Germany to repay its part of the one and one-half million dollars in reparations which the Jewish State is claiming, Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett today told a press conference here. He said that the East German authorities had not yet replied to Israel’s note on compensation claims, adding that the Jewish State will act to “remind” East Germany and to obtain a positive reply.

The Foreign Minister stressed the political and moral significance of the negotiations which had brought the Germans to “confess their responsibility” for the massacre of European Jewry and to undertake to pay compensation to the Jewish nation and Israel. He called this a “great political achievement that becomes internationally important as a precedent. ” He hailed West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s personal signature of the reparations agreement with Israel as an act that proved his “courage and moral force.”

Mr. Sharett said that the reparations payments would have a long-term effect on Israel’s economy, but they could not solve its present difficulties. Mr. Sharett reported that during a conversation among Chancellor Adenauer, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, head of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims, and himself, the Minister and Dr. Goldmann had told the German Chancellor that the reparations might start bridging the “unbridged depths” between Germany and the Jewish nation Dr. Adenauer expressed hopes that the future will bring a betterment in relations between the two nations, Mr. Sharett said.

Dr. Goldmann, who also spoke to the press conference, outlined the difficulties which had beset the introductory period before the negotiations. He stressed that the “unity of the Jewish nation” had been preserved during the negotiations.

Dr. Goldmann also declared that the Jewish organizations of the world will not participate in negotiations for reparations from Austria But said that Jewish bodies were already conferring with Austrian officials on amending Austrian reparations and compensation laws for individual claimants.

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