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December 24, 1965 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-12-24

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

Erhard Reassures on Payments, but Bonn Defends Action

(Continued from Page 1)

was pointed out to them that the
Jewish people were led to hope
that, on these foundations, a solid
structure would now be erected."

Deferment of Payments Upheld

BONN (JTA)—Legislation em
powering the West German gov- I
ernment to defer in 1966 and 1967
the indemnification payments to a
special group of Nazi victims, in-
volving about 150,000 Jews, was
approved last weekend by the
Bundesrat, the upper house of the
Bonn Parliament. It had been pre-
viously approved by the Bunde-
stag, the lower house.
The legislation is now to go into
effect after being signed by Presi-
dent Luebke and by Chancellor
Erhard, and following its publica-
tion in the Official Gazette. The
measure will give the West Ger-
man Government authority to de-
fer in those two years scheduled
payments of $50,000,000 for each
year to victims who were in Iron
Curtain countries by October 1,
1953, the deadline for filing claims
under the original West German
legislation. They were therefore
unable to file. To meet the plight
of these victims—many of them
old and ill—West Geramny set up
a hardship fund of about $300,000,-
000, with initial payments sched-
uled to start in 1966.
Erhard's government move to
postpone the payments because of
"budgetary difficulties," touched
off worldwide criticism by Jewish
organizations. The move was op-
posed in the Bundestag by the
Social Democrat members of the
parliament.
(In London, Sir Barnett Janner,
chairman of the foreign affairs
committee of the Board of Depu-
ties of British Jews, deplored "the
unjustifiable action" contemplated
by the German government plan
to defer 1966 and 1967 reparations
payments to hardship cases among
Jewish victims of Nazism.
(In New York, the West German
Parliament and government were
assailed on two counts of evading
their "moral obligations" to the
Jewish people. Dr. Joachim Prinz,
chairman of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations and presi-
dent of the American Jewish Con-
gress, charged Erhard's govern-
ment with "inexplicable and un-
justifiable delay" in arranging eco-
nomic negotiations with Israel
following the conclusion earlier
this year of diplomatic relations,
and termed the action of the West
German Parliament (Bundestag)
"shocking" in deferring compensa-
tion payments to certain categories
of Nazi victims until 1968 "for
reasons of economy.")
On the eve of the departure of

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Chancellor Erhard for Washington
to confer with President Johnson
on matters concerning West Ger-
many, Dr. Rolf Dahlgruen, minis-
ter of Finance, issued a declara-
tion in Bonn stating that "some
misconceptions have arisen re-
cently on the implementation of
Germany's restitution program."
The declaration was a reply to
criticisms by the Conference on
Jewish Material Claims Against
Germany, and by other Jewish
organizations around the world,
against the decision of the West
German Government to postpone
1966 and 1967 reparations pay-
ments due to victims of Nazism
who could not file their claims
prior to 1953 because they had still
been unable to leave East Euro-
pean countries.
The Claims Conference has
threatened to challenge the con
stitutionality of the budget bill, if
enacted, on the grounds that it
would jeopardize rights of prop-
erty or acquired property, con-
trary to the provisions of the West
German Constitution. The declara-
tion of the West German Finance
Minister reads:

"The Federal Government has often
demonstrated the special priority it
gives to restitution for injustices corn-
mited under National Socialism. The
payment of the $250,000,000 increase
voted by the Bundestag on May 26, 1965,
however, will have to be effected within
the framework of our budgetary prob-
lems. Nevertheless, I can say with
assurance that the largest possible
amount of this increase will be paid
out in 1966 and 1967.
"It is our intention that the special
conditions of recipients will be given
full consideration. Since a statutory
order is necessary for this purpose, we
shall draft it with the consultation
of the competent associations of perse-
cutees. I would also stress that all
claims to pensions, irrespective of
whether they have been fixed in the
past, or whether they will be fixed in
1966 or 1967. will be satisfied to the
full in the future.
"The same applies to expenses in-
curred for medical treatment. It is
being asserted that intolerable hard-
ships are involved due to the fact that
the educational grants. which have been
increased by the final amending law
from 5,000 to 10,000 Marks without re-
quiring proof of lasting injury, are in-
cluded in the postponement of payments.
Such assertions ignore the fact that the
persecutees affected thereby have al-
ready received the 5.000 Marks, and
will also receive an appropriate share
of the second 5.000 Marks without any
postponement. As regards misgivings
under constitutional law concerning
Article 17, we have had this question
investigated thoroughly by the minis-
tries competent to deal with constitu-
tional matters, and it has been definitely
established that Article 17 does not
contravene the Basic Law.
"The Allies, the international Jewish
organizations and all the other associa-
tions of persecutees expressly conceded
to the Federal Republic in 1952 the
right to take into consideration the
solvency of the Federal Republic in
making available the budgetary means
required. This concession was given in
view of anticipated financial require-
ments of 3.000.000,000 to 4.000.000,000
Marks ($750,000.000 to $1.000,000.000) to
cover the entire federal indemnification
law. Therefore, I do not understand
why we should not be conceded the
same right today, when we are faced
with a gap of more than 7 billions in
1966. We have, in the meantime. met
the costs of the federal indemnification
and restitution law with an outlay of
19 billion Marks ($4.750.000.000) and
will probably pay another 15 billion
Marks ($3.750.000.000) up to 1975.
"We anticipate that an expenditure
of about 1,800.000,000 will be necessary
in 1965. as was the case in 1964. If we
anPropriate 1.900.000.000 for 1966 and
1967. as has been done in the Budget
Stabilization Law, we do not effect
reductions vis-a-vis the actual figures
of the two previous years as is being
constantly asserted. but in reality in-
crease the sums being naid out by 100
m illi on Marks ($25.000,000).
"During discussions of the final law
concerning the Federal Indemnification
Law, I was told by the associations of
oersecutees that the annual burden im-
posed on the Federal Government and
the States was not to be increased by
the amending law but should merely
be maintained at the same level for
further years to come. This is just what
has been achieved by Article 17 of the
Rudget Stabilization Law. It provides
that we shall distrihnte about 7,500.-
000.000 Marks ($1.875.000.000) to be
anticipated for 1966 and 1969 evenly over
four years, and thus keep midway be-
tween the estimated and actual sums.
"If we take appropriate account of
minor claims or very old people in our
implementing regulations, we shall come
to a reasonable arrangement with the
associations, which will do no harm to
anyone. but will on the contrary take
into consideration the overall situation.
For there is ane thing I must say again
here: The preservation of the stability
and purchasing power of our currency is
of importance not only to us, but also
to the persecutees, who must be in-
terested in this just as much.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
10—Friday, December 24, 1965

NN

Erhard told the National Press
Club in Washington Tuesday he

hoped that the "modest and in-
significant" questions remaining
between West Germany and Israel
would be solved and that he took
personal satisfaction in his role
in establishing diplomatic relations
with Israel.
The Chancellor spoke in re-
sponse to a question that recalled
the "special German position" to-
ward the Jewish people and Israel
he voiced during the- establish-
ment of diplomatic relations with
Israel. He was asked to tell how
this "special position" had been

reflected in the development of
West German-Israeli relations.
Erhard stated that one now could

say that relations between West
Germany and Israel have been
consolidated and the problem of

Hungary Won't Show -
Toerek Data to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Foreign

Minister Golda Meir informed the
Knesset, Israel's Parliament, that
Hungary has not complied with
Israel's request to examine the
original documents concerning the
past of Dr. Alexander Toerek, the
counselor at the West German

Embassy in Tel Aviv who has been
charged with having been a mem-
ber of the Arrow Cross, the war-
time Hungarian Fascist organiza-
tion.
The Israel government has been
given photocopies of a document
which purports to be Dr. Toerek's
Arrow Cross, but these are con-
sidered to be "inconclusive."
Sources close to the government,

Israel settled on an inter-Govern-
mental level. He stressed he had
undertaken "great efforts" to es-
tablish diplomatic relations and
was "happy" to have been able
to take appropriate steps at the
decisive hour. The Chancellor ex-

and became a member. He was
then a Hungarian citizen, later be-
coming a naturalized German citi-
zen.
The foreign office officials said
also that since the copied docu-
ments may be false, it is necessary
to have the original for an investi-
gation, a view the foreign office
said it shared with the Israel For-
eign Ministry. For this reason, the
officials said, they were asking the
Hungarian government to present

the original documents to the West
German commerical representa-
tive in Budapest.
Alternatively, the Bonn officials
said, they were asking Hungarian
officials to agree to have the docu-
ments investigated and checked at
the source by experts—Hungarian
experts, if Hungary so insisted.
The officials added that, at the
present stage of their investiga-
tion of the charges, there was no
reeason why Dr. Toerek should not
resume his duties in Tel Aviv.

REALTY CO.

terest in the matter was- 'respect-
fully requested in order to avoid
serious hardship for thousands of
eligible deserving persons of all
faiths". The committee is com-
posed of Catholic, Protestant, non-
sectarian and Jewish relief and
resettlement agencies, including
the Joint Distribution Committee
and the United Hias Service.
West German Ambassador Hein-
rich Knappstein said Monday he
bed received a petition from the
Jewish Nazi Victims Organization
of America, asking Chancellor Er-
hard not to sign the new Bunde-
stag law curtailing payments to
victims and that he transmitted
the petition to the Chancellor.
The petition was given to the
Ambassador by the group's presi-
dent, Moses I. Socachevsky, and
its secretary, Felix Lasky. The
petition said West Germany's
obligation to honor committments
for indemnification of Jews who
escaped Iron Curtain countries
after October 1, 1953, was an
"obligation of honor" and should
be fulfilled. It expressed Jewish
concern lest the new restrictions
are imposed and victims of the

pressed hope that remaining ques-
tions — which he termed "modest
and insigninficant" when compar-
ed with past problems — could
also be solved on a mutually ag-
reeable basis.
Erhard was asked why a nuclear
non-proliferation treaty that would
prevent Israel, India, Sweden, and
Japan from developing nuclear
weapons was considered discrim-
inatory by Bonn. He answered
that his country was interested in
limiting the number of nuclear
powers but thought settlement of
the NATO nuclear arms question
had priority over the issue of the
non-proliferation t r eat y. He
thought his position was in line
with that of the United States
Government.
* * *
WASHINGTON—The American
Council of Voluntary Agencies for
Foreign Service asked President
Johnson to discuss with Chancel-
lor Ludwig Erhard the West Ger-
man Government's decision to de- Nazis suffer further hardship
fer payments to Nazi victims.
through denial of the promised
In a wire sent by the Corn- indemnification.

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meanwhile, said that if the allega-
tions are Proved to be true, Dr.
Toerek will be declared persona
non grata.
Meanwhile, in Bonn, the West
German Foreign Office said it
had asked its commercial repre-
sentative in Budapest to ask the
Hungarian government for the
documents.
The request was made to the

commercial representative because
West Germany does not have dip-
lomatic relations with Hungary.
Dr. Toeroek, who has consistently
denied the charges since they were
aired earlier this year by Commu -
nist sources, asked the West Ger-
man Foreign Office to make an
investigation of the accusation to
clear his name. He visited Bonn
last weekend in connection with
the problem and returned to his
post in Tel Aviv Monday.
The foreign office has said that
there were several ways in which
the matter could be cleared up
with little difficulty. Foreign of-
fice officials said on several oc-
casions that the office had re-
ceived only copies of the docu-
ments allegedly showing that Dr.
Toeroek had applied for member-
ship in the Arrow Cross in 1943

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