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July 26, 1963 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-07-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Nazi Holocaust Terror Recalled

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Miss Tempel Indicts
Germans; Kay-Boyle's
Analytical Comments .

A German woman, Gudrun
Tempel, who was a teenager in
her native land during the Nazi
regime, who earned her Ph. D.
in Munich in 1953 and lived in
England for a number of years,
had written a series of letters to
the London Sunday Times in
1961, repudiating Nazism and
criticizing her own people for
the Nazi crimes. Random House
has published these letters in
book form, under the title "The
Germans: An Indictment of My
People," subtitled "A Personal
History and a Challenge." The
text was translated from the
German by Sophie Wilkins.
This volume, in itself reveal-
ing, gains special significance
from the introduction by the
noted no v e 1 i s t, short story
writer and essayist, Kay .Boyle,
who herself lived in Germany
for five years after World War
II.
Miss Boyle refers in her in-
troduction to her experiences in
Germany which led to her writ-
ing "The Smoking Mountain"
Commenting on her having
drawn upon Theodor Plievier's
novel "Stalingrad" for the title
of this book, she said Plievier
"was Germany's greatest post-war
writer" and that "this is the
curious thing to be noted about
the Germans: however bitter
May be the condemnation an -
outsider voices, however, his
whole being may recoil from
the horror of recent German
history, a German will have
voiced even more bitter con-
demnation, and a German will
have recoiled in even greater
anguish and renunciation from
the spectacle of his own coun-
trymen. Gudrun Tempel, her-
self chaotically German, cries
out on every page of this book
against the Germans, just as the
greatest German philosophers
and poets for decades wrung
their disavowal of the German
people from the depths of their
own commitment to that peo-
ple."
Thereupon follow quotations
from Germany's most distin-
guished writers, poets, philoso-
phers, who were critical--of their
country; just as some of the
quotations that lead off chapters
in Dr. Tempel's book indicate
the criticisms that were leveled
at her country.
While commending Miss
Tempel for her condemnation
of her country's Nazis, Miss
Boyle is in turn critical of
her and points to contradic-
tions in her book. Thus, Miss
Boyle writes in her introduc-
tion: "Perhaps just because
she is German, Miss Tempel
has her own disturbing in-
consistencies. At one moment
she writes that, as a child,
she had such 'a complex
against marching people' that
whenever she saw members
of the `SS, or HJ, or NSKK,
or whatever, marching along
the street,' she became phy-
sically ill and had to be re-
moved from the scene. Two
sentences later she is so
swept away by the Nazi 'at-
mosphere of jubilation' that

we find her marching 'will-
ingly with the Bund Deut-
scher Maedel, the Nazi young
women's league.' On one page
she can write with insight
that the Germans are dan-
gerous, not because they are
worse or more cruel than
other nations, but because
within themselves they have
no deterrent against e v i 1';
and on another page, with a
detachment approaching cal-
lousness, she writes that when
one's neighbors disappeared
during the Nazi times and
were never heard of again,
one had `no idea of the extent
and horror of the persecu-
tion' although the concentra-
tion camp had become 'a de-
pendable ingredient of the
daily crop of new jokes.' On
still another page we are told,
however, that 'there could be
no one left in Germany who
could claim he had not wit-
nessed some of the Nazi atro-
cities.' But the disorganiza-
tion and chaos of Gudrun
Tempel's outcry come, in the
end, to seem a portion of its
value. Her protest is mar-
velously lacking in efficiency
—that efficiency which has
produced the present Wirt-
schaftswunder, the total in-
dustrialization of the s o u 1,
which will stand forever as a
monument to Adenauer's
Germany. It is due to this
peculiarly German efficiency,
Miss Tempel writes, that 'we
have today ... a well-ordered,
well-oiled, society,' impecca-
bly neat and clean . ."
This reviewer lets Miss Boyle
evaluate the Tempel account,
and she does it, in Miss Tem-
pers own book, with as much
skill as she has produced her
own interpretation of the Ger-
man spirit. Miss Boyle states,
further, that Miss Tempel "has
no place in the efficient medi-
ocrity induced and nurtured by
Adenauer who, Gudrun Tempel
writes, 'did nothing to eliminate
the enormous confusion after
Hitler,' and nothing to bring
the Germans closer to the 'un-
ambiguous solution' which we
recognize, with the author, in
these words, as 'a matter of life
or death for Germany.' The
past is acknowledged through
the writing of books . . . This
one, with its many inconsis-
tencies, should be welcomed,
for the author says in it, 'All
I know is that I, a German, am
literally afraid of the Germans,
as I would be of anyone who is
unsure of himself and does not
know where he is going or what
he will do when he gets to a
crossroad.' She confesses she is
no political writer, and that she
would have preferred 'to write
poems about butterflies and lake
trout' rather than this book.
But in the Paaes of it she has
written as well words we' have
for a long time listened' for to
come out of Germany. 'What
had always seemed most pitiable
to me, the violent death in-
flicted by one man on another,'
she says humbly, 'has now be-
come bearable, because it is
up to me to make sense 'of it,
to shoulder responsibility.' "
Such is the verdict about a
book in which the author wrote:
"Never for a moment did my
parents hesitate to help our

'



Jewish' friends; our house was
always open to them. But it
would not have occurred to
either of them that anything
might be done against the per-
secution of the Jews as a
whole, that political action
might be taken to stop it. Of
one fact . I am, however, per-
fectly, sure: the German people
had no idea about the extent
and horror of the persecution."
That will be read in amaze-
ment!
Equally amazing is Miss Tem-
pel's statement: "The bitter
truth is that there never really
was a Nazi movement; we had,
all of us, fallen victim to a
freak—the most murderous in
history. Most of the big Nazis
had joined the 'movement' be-
cause they could expect to
profit from it by personal gain
and status which were inacces-
sible to them otherwise . ."
After expressing the "wish
the Germans could learn to
smile . . . for no reason at all,
just like that, even to them-
selves," Miss Tempel writes:
"Many Germans counter the
question: 'But you were a
Nazi, were you not?' with,
`After all, the English in-
v e n t e d the concentration
camp.' How do the Germans
justify themselves? They rea-
son: why be good when no
one else is? Why be ashamed
of something others have
done before us and will do
again? As for the millions we
killed, others have killed,
and raped, and robbed, just
as many. Everything is re-
duced to a simple calculation:
if I was ordered to do it, I
was right to do it. So we have
today in Germany a well-or-
dered, well-oiled society, very
neat, very clean, very effi-
cient. It calculates, it adds, it
subtracts, but it does not re-
flect. It wears a sign around
its neck: DO NOT disturb.
The engine drivers concen-
trate on their switches and
signals, and they do not smile.
As long as there is no ac-
cident it does not matter who
orders the signals: Hitler,
Adenauer, Kaiser Wilhelm—
it is all pretty much the
same . . ."
This is her indictment! She
is very critical of Adenauer-
the West German Chancellor
who only a few days ago
blamed the world for Hitler
bedause the world did not stop
him!
"We the Germans have ex-
pected," she writes, ever since
the end of the war WE LOST,
that the Western allies would
set our freedom above their
own national interests." This,
too, is an indictment, She con-
demns the West Germans for
having included Globke and
others in their government and
she charges: "Adenauer's fail-
ure is greater than his success
because of the legacy he leaves.
He has not filled the vacuum
left after Hitler, which can
now be filled with anything,
including the doctrine that
democracy does not work. For
this is what I hear every day,
at my desk, at the restaurant,
on the bus, at the gas station,
at the university . . ."
In her summary; after quot-
, ing comments on her letters

Peres Withdraws Disputed Demand,
Avoiding Cabinet Crisis in Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA)—The pos-
sibility of a cabinet crisis over
the demand of. Deputy Defense
Minister Shimon Peres for in-
clusion as a full member of
the Cabinet Committee for Se-
curity Affairs, faded when the
official withdrew his demand.
Peres, a leading member of

the "Young Turks" in the Ma-
pai party, who reportedly are
chafing at the continued domi-
nance of the older leadership
dating back to the Mandatory

period, withdrew his demand in
a letter to Prime Minister Levi
Eshkol. The demand had been
opposed by the leftist Achd ut
Avodah.
Peres asserted in his letter
that the Premier had given him
a promise for such cabinet com-
mittee membership "on the
eve of my taking up office in
the present government." Ach-
dut Avodah expressed satisfac-
tion with Peres' withdrawal.
In his letter, Peres wrote
that "my decision does not
arise from the Achdut Avodah
stand, but because I wish to
avoid difficulties. Achdut Avo-
dah's argument cannot stand up
to examination. The regulations
on which the party bases its
case are not constitutional but
a matter of convention which
can easily be changed.
"I do not regard myself as
being 'deprived' by taking this
stand because I preferred that
security matters be conducted
according tc the country's
needs and not on the basis of
factional interests," the Deputy

-

Coach Allie Sherman

Although the New York Giant
football team was defeated for
the second year in a row by
the Green Bay Packers, Allie
Sherman, the Giant skipper, was
named the National Football
League Coach of the Year once
again. He won the same honor
a year ago. The Giants, this time,
lost a rough, close bone-crusher,
16-7, as against a 37-0 rout in
the championship gam e last
season. Sherman, even more
than Vince Lombardi of Green
Bay, displayed an ability to
make do with a somewhat in-
ferior squad.

which are now incorporated in
her book, Miss Tempel de-
clares:
"The book's effect in Ger-
many shows that a large pro-
portion of Germans are not
exactly Nazis but are unwill-
ing to commit themselves de-
finitely against Nazism for
fear of losing the protection
of their fellows and, worse,
fear of being branded as
Communist . . . It has been
frightening for me to realize
that I have no means of com-
municating with these people.
I feel I have failed with them
completely."
There are inconsistencies and
contradictions in tliis book. Yet,
as some of the quotations in-
dicate, this German woman
has indicted her own people
for their failures, for the great-
est crimes in history. In this
respect her book and its in-
dictments represent a great con-
tribution to the study and rejec-
tion of Nazism. P.S.

Defense Minister continued.
"My participation in the com-
mittee will be determined ac-
cording to this rule." He also
said that he preferred that his
participation in the committee
be decided on the' basis of the
duties of members and not be-
cause of "prestige and coalition
considerations."
Another dispute involving the
"Y oung Turks," concerning
Moshe Dayan's determination to
resign as Agriculture Minister,
also moved toward solution.
Dayan's insistence on greater
scope for the party's younger
members led to a proposal that
he be named one of four mem-
bers of a "small security cabi- •
net" of the Mapai party. The
others would be Premier Esh-
kol, Foreign Minister Golda
Meir and Peres.

500 in Pilgrimage
to Jabotinsky Grave

NEW YORK (JTA) — Over
500 people, members of the Zion-

ist-Revisionist Organization and
followers of Zeev Jabotinsky,
participated Sunday in a pilgrim-
age to the grave of the late
Zionist-Revisionist leader on the
grounds of the Nordau Circle in
the New Montefiore Cemetery,
Pinelawn, L.I., N.Y.
Among the participants were
representatives of non-Revision-
ist organizations, including dele-
gations of the Jewish Legion
founded by Jabotinsky in World •
War I, in which he served as a
lieutenant; the Long Island Post
of the American Jewish War
Veterans; and a representation
of the National Council of Young
Israel. The Israeli government
was represented by Consul Haim
Zohar.
The Veterans' groups and
Betar — the Zionist-Revisionist
youth group — assembled with
their banners and presented
arms at the grave. The ceremony
consisted of readings from ap-
propriate portions of the Bible
by - Zionist-Revisionist leaders,
and memorial services. It was
concluded by the singing of the
Betar hymn and Hatikvah, and
the sounding of taps. Earth
brought from the graves of mar-
tyrs of the Irgun Zvai Leumi in
Israel, executed by the British.
during the underground war,
was spread over the graves of
Jabotinsky and his wife. This was
the 23rd anniversary of the
death of Jabotinsky.

1

I

Technion Enrollment
Greatest in History

HAIFA—More than 800 new
students will be admitted this

year by the Technion, Israel
Institute of Technology, when
the new academic year opens
in October. This constitutes the
largest number of students ad-
mitted in a single year since
the establishment of the Tech-.
nion 40 years ago.
The students will be those"
out of 1,500 applicants w h o
most successfully pass the ent-
rance examinations in Mathe-_
matics and Physics.
Among the applicants are 36.
soldiers of Sephardi origin who
are attending a special prepara-
tory course organized by the
Technion and the Israel De-
fence Forces.

CONTRIBUTE TO

Wehrew enevolent Society

BUILDING FUND

THE NEW HEBREW MEMORIAL CHAPEL

Chesed She! Ernes —1-vm

- von

Being Built At 26640 Greenfield, Oak Park

II

The continued progress of this great communal
project depends upon you !

2995 Joy Road, Detroit 6, Michigan

TY 6-1686

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