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Synagogue Council of America Protests U.S. Arms Contract for Germans

March 17, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Synagogue Council of America, in a letter to President Johnson, today expressed its “deep concern” over an impending Pentagon award for machineguns to a German arms manufacturer which refuses to pay claims of slave laborers it used during the Nazi regime.

Rheinmetall, the second largest munitions manufacturers in West Germany and a member of the Reichswerke Herman Goering steel trust in the Nazi period, is the only leading German enterprise which used slave labor during the war which has refused to recognize any moral obligation to compensate “the pitifully few survivors who worked for it as slave laborers, ” the letter said.

“It is therefore with incredulity and with profound chagrin that we learned that our Government is considering awarding a contract to this firm, ” the letter stressed.” The moral insensitivity of the proposed action is the more surprising in view of Assistant Secretary of State Douglas MacArthur’s recent statement that three of the five present principal officers at Rheinmetall were members of the Nazi Party during World War II.”

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