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U.S. Stand on German-israeli Reparations Talks Outlined

April 21, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The attitude of the United States toward the German-Israeli reparations talks was outlined here today by informed official sources in connection with reports in London that the United States, Britain and France have turned down a request by Israel that they give diplomatic backing in Bonn to Israel’s claims. The London report added that Washington particularly emphasized its “neutrality.”

The London reports said that the Allied stand has considerably strengthened the hands of the intransigeants at talks now going on in Bonn between the West German Government and the members of its delegation to the German-Israeli reparations Conference at The Hague.

Commenting on these reports, official sources here said it would be incorrect to describe America’s position as “neutral.” They pointed out that the United States is on record as being sympathetic to any settlement agreeable to both the Germans and the Israelis. The State Department has not been approached by either side to support any specific settlement figure, it was indicated.


Official stressed that the U.S. does not consider itself neutral because it has made clear that it does desire an equitable settlement. This stand, it is said, supports in principle the justice of Israel’s claims against Germany for restitution for the damage inflicted by Nazi persecutions. But the U.S. is not injecting itself into the talks and is leaving the actual settlement to be ironed out by the Israel and German representatives. A comparison was made to the Saar issue, in which the State Department wants a mutually-agreeable settlement between France and Germany.

It is understood that this government considers Israel’s claims against Germany separately and not as a part of other claims against the Bonn Government. However, official sources have indicated that they feel that it is unrealistic not to recognize that there actually exists an indirect connection between Israel’s claims and other demands against Germany because of that country’s financial situation and ability to pay.

A spokesman for the Israel Embassy said today that the Israel Government has no information which would tend to confirm the London reports that the United States, France, and Great Britain have refused to support Israel’s reparations claims against the West German Government.

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