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Kohl Warns of Rising Anti-semitism

June 18, 1990
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West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl used the anniversary of the death of a prominent Jewish philosopher to warn against a rising tide of anti-Semitism.

In a ceremony last week commemorating 25 years since the death of Martin Buber, Kohl said an upsurge of nationalism and anti-Semitism was the consequence of the otherwise positive recent developments in Europe.

The West German leader credited German Jewish philosophers’ ideas of human rights and freedom with the blossoming of Europe. The ceremony took place at Martin Buber House in the town of Heppenheim, where Buber lived until 1938, when he left for Palestine. Buber’s former home now serves as a museum and headquarters of the International Conference of Christians and Jews.

Kohl congratulated the group for moving its headquarters to Heppenheim, saying it was a sign of confidence in the West German democracy that emerged following World War II.

During the ceremony, the International Conference announced a plan to raise 20 million marks, or nearly $12 million, to establish a Buber Foundation, to finance research projects and cover the conference’s operating expenses. The announcement was made by Donald Coggan, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who is president of the conference.

Kohl and others at the ceremony promised their help.

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