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August 16, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-08-16

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

Purely Commentary

West German Rektions to NPD Menace . .
Continuing Neo-Nazi Threats Evident . . .
We Share Gossett's Advice to Sen. Griffin

By Philip

Slomovitz

be an avoidance of overconfidence in dealing with the issues as they hates Hitler not because he was
are tackled by the administration of Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger. a mass murderer but because he
NPD's leader, Adolf von Thadden, may deny that he is a Nazi. had lost the war for the Germans.
rejects
charges that he and his party are anti-Semitic. Among his No matter how small the number
He
defensive arguments quoted in the article in Life by - Richard B. of such "ideologists," the fact is
function. And
Stolley, ("A Son of the Junkers to Whom Nationalism is Glory and that they exist and era
started with
just as the Hitler
and Hope"), is:
a handful, so there must be a
"The NPD has its internal troubles—last year Von Thadden thorough watch for the handful of
had to throw out a dozen NPD members, mostly unreconstructed people bent on destruction.
former Nazis, for saying publicly that the answer to Germany's
*
problems was 'a new Fuehrer'. For more immediate control, he can
depend on 'Ordners', the tough party members who police rallies Some Sound Advice
and toss out hecklers. They are forbidden to wear any kind of to Senator Griffin
uniform, not even the same color or kind of shirt, or to carry a
Senator Robert Griffin undoubt-
weapon—Von Thadden is sensitive to any comparison between them
edly
meant well when, motivated
volved," he sees Eden as no par-
and Hitler's brownshirted storm stroopers. But the 'Ordners' -are a
SDE BOKER, Israel — David
ticular friend. "He was supposed
permanent. and frightening fixture at NPD meetings. No other by political intentions (oh, tiu
Ben-Gurion, Israel's first premier,
to send me a very important let-
view of Nixon in the White House
German party uses them—or needs them.
is now a gnomish old man living
ter — but didn't. He only sent
in the baked Negev. His wife
"Von Thadden insists that he has his extremists under his and a Republican control of the
it to French Premier Mollet, but
died last year and, solitary by
thumb. 'My personal situation in the party is so strong that it could Supreme Court! ), he started the
Mollet is decent and gave me a
choice, far from his children, he
hardly be stronger', he says. He demonstrated his clout decisively campaign to prevent the confirma-
photostat. After the affair Eden
works, contemplates and remi-
at the party convention in Hannover last November when he vetoed tion of Abe Fortas as Chief Jus-
insisted
that
Paris
have
all
the
an already approved amendment to the party program urging tice and Homer Thornberry as a
nisces.
original documents destroyed —
Volumes and folders are piled
sterilization for sex offenders. Some members did not like that at member of the high court.
but when he found I had copies
around his study on chairs, tables,
all, but the party lieutenants were wise enough not to challenge
But the general feeling, except
he became friendly."
jammed into shelves. One leather-
Von Thadden's power—not yet anyway. The NPD has long, hard
In 1920 Ben-Gurion publicly
bound set contains all secret rec-
organizing struggles still ahead, and to attract the maximum number for the views of the notoriou -
outlined his frontier ideas for the
ords of the Suez expedition with
of German conservatives, they know that the party must continue Strom Thurmond, has not give
eventual state of Israel: northern
Britain and France. Only three
to project a statesmanlike facade. They also know that no one but him much encouragement in
— the Litani River in South
threat to conduct a filibuster when
copies exist. Says Ben-Gurion: "It
Adolf von Thadden can manage that political miracle.
Lebanon; eastern — the Awage
the U. S. Senate resumes its ses-
won't be made public until after
as
the
party
drifts
"Whether
or
not
he
can
maintain
power
of
River in Syria and the Jordanian
Eden (Lord Avon) dies." There
gradually but inexorably into more extreme right-wing radicalism— sions. Now the new president the
desert; southern — the Red Sea.
the
American
Bar
Association,
are portfolios with letters from
for that is the only direction it can sensibly go, hemmed in as
But he would have accepted the
Kennedy, de Gaulle and others.
it is by other, more powerful German parties—Von Thadden denies eminent Detroiter, William T. Gos-

restricted
1947
U.N.
borders
He
on se. higa
naadtviris sensGtrhiseennMi
Surveying the confusion from a
steadfastly
that he is presiding over a rebirth of Nazism. 'All the
without Jerusalem — had the
has ll
perch above the founding father's
stoel:te:nd his
people
who
compare
us
with
the
Nazis,"
he
says,
"forget
that
the
Arabs agreed. Even today he
"un-
filibuster
threat
head is a plaster bust of Plato.
Griffin's
National Socialists could only arise in the circumstances after
would withdraw to the early 1967
Incredibly Active
worthy of a U.S. Senator."
Versailles,
and
that
they
never
would
have
come
to
power
without
boundaries in exchange for true
Ben-Gurion today is diminu-
the person of Hitler. He was the whole party. Goering, Himmler
chad - pl ann e d,
peace — "economic, political, cul-
tive, sturdy, incredibly active at
and so on—they were all little moons around the single sun. Without some seven months ago, to intro-
tural
cooperation
with
the
Arabs;
81, bouncing about like a squash
the sun, all those little moons never would have had any light duce legislation which would have
but there is no hope on this for
ball. He dresses in austere khaki.
Nobody can say that I am the successor to Hitler. Such people prevented the lengthy newspaper
years to come."
The massive dome of his head is
happen only every hundred years'."
strike in Detroit. Now he must be
"A
Special
Quality'
bald, flanked by wings of fine
This sounds well and good, but while Von Thadden was ridiculing sorry he had entertained such
Israel
came
into
being
and
white hair like thistledown. His
that "a ideas and perhaps he wishes the
survived Ben-Gurion believes, be- the idea of his becoming a "new Hitler" and was claiming
face is pink, his eyes blue; with
story
that strike had continued. Because the
a
Hitler
happens
only
every
hundred
years,"
he
related
cause Jews have a special quality
most of his teeth missing, his
of excelling. This helped them doesn't tally with common decencies and certainly does not denote Free Press, in the second issue of
firm jaw thrusts out more pug-
endure nine centuries of exile, remorse over what had happened to the Jews under Nazism. In his the resumed publication, said he
naciously than ever.
with
a dead language, and yet Life article Stolley related:
"an unfortunate cru-
For him Churchill, Adenauer
"Little by little, Von Thadden is becoming known, and denounced, was waging
preserved
the vitality which,
in his filibuster threat, and
sade"
and de Gaulle have been the
around the world. It was during an off-camera chat with an English
twenty years ago, permitted the
"great" men. He doesn't regard
TV reporter that he told a macabre joke that has been cited from the editorial stated:
650,000 Israelis to defeat thirty
the general as hostile but merely
It certainly would be the better
time to time as evidence of his fascist streak. It concerned two
million Arabs. He adds: "I wrote
as concerned with what he thinks
men who had just been released from prison. One of them explained part of valor for our Senator to
my
son
in
1937
predicting,
'We
are French national interests. He
he was sentenced for writing, 'Out with the Jews', on a synagogue abandon his unwise campaign
will have a state and with it
met Kennedy three times; the
wall. The other man said he had written 'In with the Jews'. Why against Fortas and Thornberry.
the world's finest army.' "
last shortly before his inaugura-
had he been sent to prison for that? Because, the man said, he From a partisan Republican point
As death approaches, Ben-
tion. Kennedy told him: "I was
wrote it on a gas meter."
of view he meant well and we
Gurion
regards
it
squarely,
say-
elected by the Jews of New York
There is every indication that even the handful of Jews who could not endorse a view that his
ing:
"The
purpose
of
life
is
to
and I would like to do something
enjoy it, to make it pleasanter remain in Germany -must be constantly' on the alert and that the anti-Fortas position spelled anti-
for the Jewish people." Says Ben-
for every human being. We don't dangers lurking from neo-Nazism are not minimal. The fact that Semitism. But his partisanship
Gurion: "I was shocked. Why
know of another world so we Chancellor Kiesinger found it necessary to act as a character witness certainly is not valid in the best
should he say such a thing to a
should concentrate on this one. for a Nazi criminal, claiming that he himself was unaware of what interests of the country.
foreigner?"
There
is no mention in our Bible was happening in the Hitler era, was most disconcerting. No one
In April, 1963, just before re-
Since Strom Thurmond is so
with a sense of reality can fall for the argument of "not knowing"
of an afterlife.
tiring, Ben-Gurion wrote several'
prominent in the news currently,
were
burned,
Jewish
stores
destroyed
and
looted,
synagogues
when
The ,Riddle Grows
world leaders. He asked Kennedy
we have no hesitation, since the
"Once I discussed this with Jewish professors sacked, children driven out of their public school court issue was a Thurmondian
to join Khrushchev in guarantee-
classes.
Einstein.
He
said:
'The
more
we
ing Israel's frontiers. Kennedy
Then there is the "small debate" over the status of German prejudice that played a role at the
progress in science, the more we
declined in a five-page letter
Jewry.
At the Conference of Jewish Organizations held in Geneva GOP convention and with the Re-
realize what we don't know. The
pledging sympathy and friend-
the Presi-
riddle grows.' I asked: 'Is there recently, the rabbi of Bonn and Aachen, Dr. Bernard Farkas, said publican nominee for
ship.
life after death?' Einstein an- only 26,000 Jews remained in Germany and that the majority of them dency, in calling attention to this
Ben-Gurion cherishes f o n d
swered: wish I knew.' But he were past the age of 50. His report was disputed by Dr. Hendryk brief quotation from an editorial
memories of Eisenhower — "a
Van Damm, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in in the New York Times:
left orders to burn his body."
very lovely person." After World
"What Sen. Griffin proposes to do is
I recalled that after Churchill's Germany, who maintained that 27,000 Jews registered as affiliates of
War II Eisenhower sent weekly
to persuade a majority of senators
funeral I asked de Gaulle wheth- Jewish communities; that there were also unaffiliated Jews and that not
planes from Germany here to
to oppose the Fortas-Thornberry nomi-
er he planned any similarly mag- the average age, which remains constant, is under 46. But studies nation, but to prevent the majority from
pick up Hebrew books and teach-
A majority of senators would
nificent spectacle; that he only of conditions among German Jews have shown that there are very acting.
ers for Jewish displaced persons.
vote for confirmation. Sen. Griffin can
hopes
for
the
survival
high,
that
the
average
age
is
few
births,
that
do
no
more
than hope to put together
said quietly: "pas de spectacles
At Britain's request, says Ben-
a large enough minority to sustain a
pour le general de Gaulle." Had of Jews in Germany are minimal.
Gurion, the State Department
The sincerity of the Federal Republic of Germany in minimizing filibuster.
Ben-Gurion made any arrange-
halted this.
"In this effort he has joined with
most bigoted and least re-
ments? "To stay here in the the NPD threat and the danger of an impending neo-Nazism can not some of the
Although he won't allow the
members of the Senate. Strom
sponsible
desert," he replied, "beside my be questioned. It makes a strong point of the claim that,Bonn is. not Thurmond's
Suez records to be published yet
tirade against Mr. Justin'
Weimar, that while extremists are not to be underrated "thee Nazi Fortas in committee
hearings was
wife."
"because Eden is very much in-
victory was possible only in the context of historical factors that graceful, consisting of nothing mor,
than the spluttering invective the sena-
In this tense period of a Presidential election in the United States, have changed fundamentally." The defensive statement presented to tor from South Carolina spews forth reg-
ularly. And when Sen. Sam Ervin says
at a time when the candidates' views are sought on Israel the Middle us in behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany states:
opposes the nominations because For-
"The government devotes inordinate attention and concern to he
East and many other issues, the revelation of the late President
tas and Thornberry have shown them-
Kennedy's comments on Israel is most intriguing.
ultra-Rightist eruptions on the body politic. Periodic and annual selves to be "judicial activists," we all
what he means.
expertises are made public by the interior ministry, analyzing the know
The statement about Anthony Eden is not surprising. He suddenly
"Sen. Griffin has utterly failed to pre-
membership,
election
trends
and
methods
of
the
NPD.
A
possible
emerged _as pro - Israel during the 1956 Sinai Campaign, but he was
sent a persuasive case against either of
extremist vote of up to 15 per cent is considered within bounds. the two men, both of whom. have judi-
never a friend of Israel.
experience, excellent • reputations
So far, the state elections have resulted in half this number. It cial
and a knowledge of the law. Mr. Thorn-
Other revealing facts in this interview will whet appetites for
berry is not, to be sure, in Mr. Fortas'
democratic
is
the
avowed
intention
of
the
government
to
use
every
more knowledge about the events most of us had watched with keen
class, but then few lawyers are. Mr.
means to limit Rightist influence and power.
Fortas is almost uniquely fitted to be a
interest, often failing to know what had truly happened.
strong, wise and independent chi
"The
government
knows
that
it
can
count
on
the
millions
of
The Ben-Gurion memoirs will surely tell a fantastic story about
democratic-minded citizens in the trade unions, church organiza- justice."
the effects of world intrigues upon Israel and the Jewish people.
"The prominent activity of Senator
tions,
and among students to deepen the nation's invulnerability Thurmond of South Carolina, a flagrant
Ben - Gurion himself was a target on many occasion from his opponents.
racist who ran as the Dixiecrat candi-
vis-a-vis
extremism.
And
the
government
hopes
that
its
friends
and
Perhaps he will even relate to the generation to follow him his attitudes
date for President in •1948, was a repul-
allies abroad will withhold condemnation of the entire German sive spectacle at the Miami Beach con-
towards Chaim Weizmann, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Moshe Sharett, Golda
vention.
Mr. Thurmond enjoyed a pro.
people for the noisy actions of a small minority.
Meir, Levi Eshkol and so many others, some of whom were his friends,
longed 'favorite son' nominating speech
"The
NPD
may
be
a
cause
for
concern
to
the
Germans,
but
in
his
own
behalf, served as one of Mr.
others his antagonists, so many with whom he had broken friendships.
principal managers, and accom-
not a cause for panic abroad. As Foreign Minister Willy Brandt Nixon's
An interesting history is in store for the generation that will fallow us.
panied the candidate to the rostrum
recently said: 'I believe that I can, in good conscience, assure our when he accepted his nomination. This
to Southern racism is bad mo-
friends and our friendly critics abroad that they do not need to trickling
Von Thadden and NPD . . Kiesinger's Role
rality and bad politics."
able
to
willing
nor
think
the
democrats
in
Germany
are
neither
West Germany anxiously emphasizes that neo-Nazism is not as
It is not too late for Senator
master this problem'."
extensive as may appear on the surface and continually rejects warn-
Griffin
to remove himself from
Taking
all
these
factors
under
consideration
and
viewing
the
ings of an impending new threat to democracy from the growing
developing situation cautiously as well as realistically, there is never- another "repulsive spectacle" on
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD).
Developing conditions, however, demand a close look at the theless ground for genuine concern. Bonn officials apparently recognize association with Thurmond in on
a
existing situation, and from many aspects it is vital that there should it, but they, too, must treat it more seriously. There are menacing the floor of the U.S. Senate
factors from bigots and reactionaries everywhere, and the danger is filibuster that can emerge as very
2—Friday, August 16, 1968
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS I greater in Germany because there remains there an element that "bad politics."

Diplomatic Mysteries: Ben-Gurion's Memorabilia'

So much is hidden in archives, or in the private records of diplo-
mats and statesmen, that history is never completely recorded until
after the passing of time of some of the • actors . in the dramas of
world events.
This is true of U.S'. Presidents, of heads of other nations, of people
who honor the confidence placed in them. Perhaps that is why we can
always be so certain that our offspring will be better informed about
occurrences in our own time than we are ourselves.
A sample of what may be expected has just been recorded from
Sde Boker, David Ben-Gurion's Negev home, by the distinguished
correspondent of the New York Times, C. L. Sulzberger. Reporting on
his interview with Israel's former prime minister who was one of the
chief architects of the Jewish State, Sulzberger wrote:

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