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Thirty Percent of Germans Are Still Anti-jewish, W.j.c. Parley Hears

July 25, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Thirty percent of Germans today are going through a phase of mental anti-Semitism in which bias is expressed in general dislike and disdain for the Jews. There is no sign of “functional” anti-Semitism–bias turned to violence–for certain aims or as a mass expression of emotions at a time of despair or failure. But one German in every ten would not mind a chance to beat up Jews, if the circumstances change.

This view of anti-Semitism in Germany, 25 years after Hitler’s rise to power, was given today to the executive of the World Jewish Congress meeting in the Maison Juive here by Dr. Nehemiah Robinson, of New York, director of the World Jewish Congress’ Institute of Jewish Affairs. He told 70 world Jewish leaders from more than 20 countries that age-old anti-Semitism was still latent in the minds of many people all over the world.

Recent scientific polls in Germany revealed that anti-Jewish bias is not dead. Questions elicited the fact that 30 percent of those canvassed show “active anti-Jewish feeling. One in ten was not disinclined to participate again in anti-Jewish acts of violence if circumstances warrant,” Dr. Robinson reported. He said he was not surprised by the poll findings, because there are in Germany” vast numbers of former Nazi members and their families, of whom few have really been converted in their hearts as regards their general attitude towards democracy and Jews.” He also dwelt with the anti-Semitism in Poland, Hungary, Rumania and other countries.

Dr. Robinson contended that the bombings of synagogues and centers in the South of the United States, anti-Semitic incidents during the Argentinian and Italian elections, and in the recent French upheaval demonstrated that anti-Semitism is still prevalent in the minds of many people and that it comes to the fore whenever the population becomes restive.


A report on the situation of the Jews in North Africa was presented at today’s session by Dr. Maurice Perlzweig, head of the WJC Department of International Affairs. He said that friendly and cooperative relations had been maintained by the World Jewish Congress with Tunisia and Morocco from which promises had been obtained “that the unresolved problems relating to the structure of the Jewish communities” in those countries ” and the right to emigrate would be solved on a basis of goodwill. ” He lauded the refusal of the governments of the two countries to be drawn into policies of “destructive and aggressive nationalism on which the regimes of certain Arab countries are based. “

Dr. I. Schwartzbart, director of the WJC organization department, reported contacts with affiliates and representative bodies in more than 60 countries. He said one of the major unresolved problems was the rift between Sephardic Jews, numbering 1, 800, 000 and the Ashkenazic, totalling about 10, 200, 000. A complete solution of the problem was “a long way off,” he said, but some progress had been made.

A resolution was adopted noting with pride the “remarkable achievements” of the State of Israel in its first decade. The delegates warned, however, “the large quantities of arms with which Soviet Russia and the United States were supplying the Arab states which reject any idea of peace with Israel. The delegates declared that “these arms deliveries undermine security and encourage the enemies of Israel to acts of revenge and plans for war and constitute a danger to world peace.”

The resolution on Israel was adopted following an address by Dr. Israel Goldstein, devoted to the 10th anniversary of the State of Israel. He said that Israel has a right to expect from the Jewish people economic support, moral support for its viability and physical security, as well as contributions of manpower in the form of “aliyah” from all countries, including those where Jews live “free and comfortable.”

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