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May 22, 1970 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-05-22

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

Operammergan Is Staging Passion Play Despite Criticism

LONDON (JTA)—Jacob Halevy,
chairman of the British Section of
the World Jewish Congress, voiced
"deep regret" at the attendance of
Julius Cardinal Doepfner, arch-
bishop of Munich, at the opening
performance of the 1970 Oberam-
mergau Passion Play Monday
He said, "The play still contains
defamatory references to the Jew-
ish people and Judaism despite
efforts by the cardinal himself to
obtain a revision of the text."
Rabbi Arthur J. Lelyveld, presi-
dent of the American Jewish Con-
gress, called Monday for a world-
wide boycott of this year's perfor-
mances. In an open letter Satur-
day, Cardinal Doepfner conceded
his uneasiness over textual "over-
exaggerations," and recommended
that the 1980 production "clearly
express that Christ died for all
mankind." During a sermon pre-
ceding the opening performance,
Cardinal Deepfner issued a new
call for revision of the text.

Rabbi Lelyveld said the West
German prelate's action would
"invariably be interpreted as
church endorsement of an anti-
Semitic spectacle whose pro-
ducers have obstinately refused

The instructions were contained
to change the text in accordance
in a pastoral letter to priests of
with Vatican Council II."
He urged "Jews, Christians and the Archdiocese of Malines which
all men of good will not to attend includes Brussels. "It is of the
the play, even if this means the utmost importance that the Chris-

return of tickets already pur- tians who go to Oberammergau
should know of the objections of
In the Bavarian village earlier the Jews to the Passion Play as
this month, a spokesman for the well as the problems created by
play's producers indicated that up the play for Christians," the
to 5 per cent of the tickets for bishops wrote.
each performance were being re-
"In this connection it is impor-
turned as a result of what he tant to know whether Christian
called "a concerted campaign by circles take the declaration on
American Jews."
the Jewish faith by the Vatican
(In New York, Rabbi Lelyveld Council seriously. The Passion
revealed, officials of Lufthansa, Play at Oberammergau is, of

the German airline, expressed con-
cern that thousands of tickets
taken on consignment—on the basis
of sellout crowds in previous sea-
sons—had not been disposed of and

course, not organized by the
church. Nevertheless, it is a Chris-
tian event . . . Christians must
not let themselves be placed in a
position where they become res-
were proving difficult to sell. The ponsible for the crucifixion of
AJCongress leader said he wel- Jesus after having watched the
comed this fact.)
crucifixion of Jesus on the stage.
Meanwhile, the Catholic bish- They must also remember that
ops of Belgium have instructed when Jesus spoke of the Jews he
priests that their parishoners spoke of people of his own religion.
attending the Passion Play at He was not an outsider — he was
Oberammergau should be re- a Jew, and as such he had the
minded that "Jesus was a Jew" right to teach his fellow Jews as
and made aware of the objec- the prophets had done before him."
tions raised by Jews that the
play is anti-Semitic.

This Week in History

From the files of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
40 Years Ago This Week: 1930

European and American Jews protested Britain's stoppage of
Jewish immigration into Palestine.
Dr. Ernest Feder, prominent German-Jewish journalist, concluded,
"There is no cause for fear of a serious anti-Semitic wave in Germany.
. . Besides, anti-Semitism is not the direct aim of the National
Socialists . . . (It) will soon go down."
Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo of the New York State Court of
Appeals, (who would be elevated to the United States Supreme Court
in 1932) marked his 60th birthday.
German Ambassador F. W. von Prittwitz and Gaffron reiterated
the Reich's opposition to cemetery desecrations and stated that
shehita would not be prohibited.
Felix M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee
and chairman of the administrative committee of the Jewish Agency,
was feted in New York by notables led by President Hoover, ex-Pres-
ident Coolidge, Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lt. Gov. Herbert H.
Lehman and Dr. Chaim Weizmann.

10 Years Ago This Week: 1960

The West German Bundestag passed an "anti-defamation" bill
providing three-year sentences for "instigating hatred against parts
of the population."
A University of Pennsylvania sociologist reported that U.S. Jews
had a "relatively low and quite stable intermarriage rate" of 7.2
percent, and - a median annual income of $5,954.
Label A. Katz, Bnai Brith president, said the American rabbinate
was not doing "all it needs to do" to raise Jewish education "out of its
infantile pit" and to relieve "the melancholy level of culture and
religious illiteracy in Jewish life."
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion startled the Israeli Knesset by
announcing, "a short time ago, one of the greatest of Nazi war crimi-
nals, Adolf Eichmann, . . . was found by the Israeli security service.
(He) is already under arrest in Israel, and will shortly be placed on
trial in Israel . . ."
Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir asserted that "one of the most
dangerous consequences" of the Paris summit collapse could be "a
flow of armaments, in tremendous quantities, to Arab countries,
particularly to Egypt."

Deteriorating Economic Situation
Warned as Cabinet Shaves Budget

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The cab-' Horovitz said the national debt
inet decided to shave $57,000,000 is of such proportions that "Every
off Israel's record $3,500,000,009 baby in Israel owes $1,000 on the
national budget as the country's day of its birth."
financial watchdogs warned of a
Hebrew University economists
seriously deteriorating economic warned in a radio interview that
the present slump on the New York
The 2 per cent reduction is not Stock Market might have adverse
likely to affect defense outlays. A affects on the United Jewish Ap-
nine-man ministerial committee peal and Israel Bond income for

(A suit was filed in a Munich
court charging the organizers of
the Passion Play with anti-Semi-
tism and incitement against the
Jewish people. Legal action ag-
ainst the play was taken by Bernt
Engelman, a non-Jewish German
writer who is chairman of the
League of Human Rights.)

10—Friday, May 22, 1970


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The economists said Israel's for-

TUESDAY, MAY 26 • 9:30 A.M.

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set finance committee that the I ous low at the end of last year.
economic situation was "grave:' But they warned against attaching

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increase in the country's bal. BALTIMORE (JTA)—The larg-
ance of payments deficit during est single campaign in the history
the first quarter of the year fol- of Baltimore's Associated Jewish
lowing a serious decline in for- Charities and Welfare Fund has
eign currency reserves during been reported by general co-chair-
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