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President of W. Germany Lauds Contributions of Jews to His Country

June 24, 1975
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Dr. Walter Scheel, President of the Federal Republic of West Germany, made a point of visiting the Leo Baeck Institute here Friday, during a one-day stop-over in New York, part of his five-day visit to the United States. At the Institute, which is a research center on the history of German Jews from the 18th Century to the Nazi era, Dr. Scheel declared that some of the great Jewish intellectuals, such as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Karl Marx, were persons of great German culture as well as being Jews.

He declared that he was pleased that Jews driven out of Germany by the Nazis had maintained the German heritage that Hitler sought to erase, Dr. Ernest Hamburger; a member of the Institute’s executive committee, presented Dr. Scheel with specially bound volumes of two books published by the Institute about Jews in German political life during the 19th and 20th Centuries. One was written by Dr. Hamburger.

Dr. Scheel presented to Dr. Max Gruenwald, president of the Institute, the first edition of the complete works of Heinrich Heine, published in 1866. The German leader recalled that this was the second time a President of West Germany had visited the Institute. His predecessor, Theodor Heuss, came to New York in 1958. The Institute was named after Rabbi Leo Baeck of Berlin, the last leader of the German Jewish community before the Nazi era. Rabbi Baeck was responsible for beginning the reconstruction of good relations between the Germans and the Jews after World War II

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