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Kohl Supports Uniform Legislation Throughout Europe to Fight Racism

September 13, 1993
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is backing a plan for uniform legislation throughout Europe to combat racism and anti-Semitism.

And he told a group of visiting European Jewish leaders in Bonn last week that he intends to introduce such legislation himself when Germany assumes the rotating presidency of the European Community next July.

Kohl, speaking last Friday in Bonn to leaders of the European Jewish Congress, said he wished to meet the delegation again in February to lay the groundwork for such cooperation.

The delegation that met with Kohl was lead by Jean Kahn, president of the European Jewish Community, and included Israel Finestein, head of the British Jewish community; Ignatz Bubis, head of the German Jewish community; Michael Kohn, president of the Swiss Jewish community; and Serge Cwajgenbaum, EJC secretary-general.

The German chancellor, who has been criticized by Jews and others for laxity in the face of increasing violent racist acts in Germany, said he shares the delegation’s anxiety with the rise of racism and xenophobia in Germany.

But he rejected blame for the alleged laxity placed on the German executive, pointing instead to Germany’s independent judicial system.

Last Thursday, Kohl told the parliament that authorities must increase pressure on neo-Nazi groups to deter their becoming a threat to German security.

Earlier this month, the German government asked the Supreme Court to ban an extremist right-wing group, the Free German Workers Party.

Kohl said, however, that the authorities must do more to punish racist crimes.

He accepted the Jewish delegation’s wish to see preserved in Germany all places symbolic of Jewish experiences during the Holocaust, marked with plaques to remind future generations of what these places represented to the Jewish people and other victims of Nazism.

Kohl said he intends to have a special monument in memory of the Jewish victims erected in Berlin.

He also spoke of European-Israeli affairs.

The German leader lauded the progress of the Middle East peace process and offered German political and economic support to aid it. He also said he would review the cooperative agreement which has been in existence between the E.C. and Israel since 1975.

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