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May 01, 1981 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-05-01

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, May 1, 1981 25

French Elections Highlight Resurgent Jewish Community

Defamation League of
(Editor's note: Samuels Bnai Brith, based in
is director of the Euro- Paris.)
With the polls showing
pean office of the Anti-
Valery Giscard D'Estaing
and Socialist challenger
Francois Mitterand run-
ning neck and neck in the
upcoming French
presidential elections, the
French Jewish vote could
conceivably tip the balance,
Materials submitted to the
according to political obser-
Readers Forum must be
brief. The writer's name will ' vers.
In 1974, they point out,
e withheld from pv'Jlica-
Giscard won the presidency
ion upon request. Ni un-
signed letters will be pub-
with a paper-thin margin of
lished. Materials will not be
250,000 votes. The Jewish
returned unless a stamped,
electorate in France is esti-
self-addressed envelope is
mated at 350,000.
enclosed.
French Jewry is being

politicized and wooed as
Bias Continues
never before in the wake of
Editor, The Jewish News
the Rue Copernic
Referring to the article synagogue bombing. And
"Keeping the Dream Alive" the tide is running against
by Don McEvoy (March 6),
Giscard among Jewish vot-
it is certainly a disgrace ers.
against the Jewish people
In the seven years of his
that Rev. Bailey Smith, presidency, there has
president of the Southern been an upsurge of anti-
Baptist Convention, stated Semitism and racism.
that "God does not hear the Jews have become
prayer of a Jew."
scapegoats among some
Not only are Jewish extremist elements for
people the chosen people of French economic trou-
God, but in their long his- bles. Many Jews blame
tory on earth they have Giscard's consistently
given ST much for the wel-
anti-Israel, pro-Arab
fare of humanity.
foreign policy for helping
Recent studies have indi-
to fan the flames of anti-
cated that there , is an in-
Semitism. Some Jews
crease of hatred toward even harbor misgivings
Jewish, Catholic and Negro
— or worse — for the way
people.
French officials reacted
Haven't people yet to and handled the
learned the lessons of the traumatic eyents of Rue
Holocaust?
Copernic.
As stated in the book "The
The extent of the swing
Other Holocaust" by the
against Giscard can be seen
author Bokdan Wylwycky,
"For prejudice and racism in the "Jewish Renewal"
movement, which waded
are in fact the psychological
cornerstone of dehumaniza- into the presidential cam-
tion."

By SHIMON SAMUELS

Readers
Forum

-





Melvin J. Melanson,
Catholic League for
Religious and Civil
Rights

* * *

Germany Today

Editor, The Jewish News
The recent article by
Moshe Ron (April 17) brings
to light the shocking reality
of today's Germany, a Ger-
many which still harbors
multitudes of Nazi war
criminals, has as its leading
industrialists former Nazis,
and most odious, its
President, Gustav
Heinemann, is a former
Nazi.
The Jewish community
must not deceive itself into
believing Germany today,
in spirit, differs a great deal
for the Germany of 1942.
The sight of a Jew driving
a German automobile is
enough to send chills up
one's spine and bring re-
morse to one's heart. The
Jewish community must
not add to the strength of
those who would destroy it
by adding to their enrich-
ment.
Surely, local need should
be sufficient reason to pur-
chase American-made
products. However, the
support of those who once
exterminated multitudes,
by we, their children, is at
least self-defeating and at
best shameful indeed.

Allen Olender

paign with a massive leaf-
let campaign ; condemn-
ing Giscard as "dangerous"
for peacein the Middle East
and "dangerous" for the fu-
ture of France. While not
endorsing Mitterand, the
Jewish Renewal group is
urging the French to "vote
against Giscard" — its elec-
tion slogan.
In a survey conducted by
the magazine "Le Point," 53
percent of Jewish voters pol-
led expressed a preference
for Mitterand as against
only 23 for Giscard. This
was prior to the April 26
primary. The second round
of voting is May 10.
The
influential
Rothschild family, some of
whose members supported
Giscard in 1974, has with-
held its endorsement this
time around. Alain de
Rothschild, who heads
CRIF (the Representative
Council of Jewish Institu-
tions in France) declared in
a pre-election press confer-
ence that voters should
have "freedom of choice" in
the elections. He then pro-
ceeded to take the French
government to task on a
host of issues, denouncing
what he called French sub-
mission to Arab
"blackmail" and condemn-
ing the climate of discrimi-
nation leading to a "re-
surgence of Nazism" in
France.
Despite the anti-
Giscard sentiment, how-
ever, Mitterand may not
pick up as many Jewish
voters as might be ex-
pected. Political obser-
vers point out that there
is an awareness — at least
among Jewish voters

Die Zeit Editor Sees Greater
Freedom for Nazis in U.S.

Dr. Dietrich Strothmann,
editor of Die Zeit, one of
Germany's most influential
newspapers, visiting here
for a study of U.S. foreign
policies, asserted that there
is greater freedom for Nazi
propagandists in this coun-
try than in Germany.
Dr. Strothmann told The
Detroit Jewish News Wed-
nesday that nearly all of the
printed anti-Semitic mate-
rial in evidence in West
Germany comes from the
United States.
"The vile form of anti-
Semitid propaganda is out-
lawed in my country," he
said. He pointed out that re-
printing material from Hit-
ler's "Mein Kamp' is for-
bidden, that there is a law
which makes it a crime for
anyone to insult the mem-
ory of the Holocaust victims
in public.
Dr. Strothmann said
that while he, who was
compelled to be a
member of the Hitler
Jugend and served in the
German army briefly at
the age of 17, can have a
sense of guilt, his chil-
dren and grandchildren
"can not."
They are not influenced
by the Nazi ideology, he de-
clared, because they are
now concerned with world

problems, with their domes-
tic needs.
He said he had confidence
that the few hundred neo-
Nazis — he emphasized the
number — can never gain
influence anywhere in
Germany.
He and his family are pe-
rennial visitors in Israel.
Strothmann said that
the relationships between
his country and Israel are
on a high and friendly level.
He even expressed confi-
dence that contrary to cur-
rent fears the danger of
massive arming of Saudi
Arabia by West Germany
will not materialize.

with longer memories —
that Mitterand's
Socialists, probably with
support from the Corn-
munists, will be no more
pro-Israel than Giscard.
While the forces of Gis-
card and Mitterand jockey
for Jewish votes all other
parties in France are also
wooing them, mobilizing
prominent Jews in their
ranks for thiss purpose. The
Communists, for example,
published an appeal in their
newspaper L'Humanite to
French Jews to back the
candidacy of their leader,
George Marchais.
The realization has evi-
dently gotten through to
French politicians that
times are changing for
French Jewry. Tradi-
tionally the French Jewish
community has been more
diffuse than its American

Yad Vashem
Cites Family

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Josef and Agata Armatys
and their daughter Wladys-
lawa (Armatys) Flisak re-
ceived the highest citation
medal awarded by Yad
Vashem Martyrs and
Heroes Remembrance
Authority to gentiles who
risked their lives to save
Jews during the Holocaust.
The Armatys family
saved the lives of Moses
Wurzel, his wife Helena,
and their daughter Sally
from the Nazis by hiding
them in the attic of their
house in Poland and
elsewhere in the neighbor-
hood for more than a year.
The award was presented
by Yoseph Kedar, Consul-
General of Israel in New
York, to Wladyslawa Flisak
on her own behalf and that
of her late father and her
mother who lives'in Poland.

counterpart, French Jewry
had been envolving into a
more cohesive entity and
asserting its identity.

One dramatic manifesta-
tion of this trend was the re-
cent publication of "The
Book for the Perplexed" by
Francois Debre, son of the
former premier, Michel De-
bre, who is a Gaullist candi-
date in this year's elections.
The son roundly criticizes
his father for his assimila-
tion into French Christian
culture.
Similarly, Dominique
Shnapper, the daughter
of noted scholar
Raymond Aron, stresses
her Jewish identity in her
book, "Jews and Israel-
ites.",
Rothschild, in his press
conference, declared that
"considering the contribu-
tions of Judaism to French
culture, (CRIF) desires to
see the teaching of Jewish
history and notably of the
Holocaust in the national
educational program."
Referring to the tendency
in some circles to blame
Jews for the nation's eco-
nomic ills, Rothschild went
on to say that the "Jewish
community condemns .. .
attempts to exploit racism,
xenophobia and intolerance
on the basis of economic

difficulties and unemploy-
ment."
Much of Rothschild's
pre-election statement was
concerned with French pol-
icy towards the Middle East
and the PLO. He con-
demned the European in-
itiative toward the Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-
tion, in which France
played a leading role, and
the presence of PLO repre-
sentatives on French soil.
The French Jewish
leader also asserted that
the government's nuclear
assistance to Iraq will
contribute to the de-
velopment of a nuclear
weapon that would ex-
pose the world to a "mor-
tal risk."
Rothschild urged a more
"equitable" policy towards
the Middle East and called
on the French government
to support the Camp David
peace accords.
In summing up the mood
of French Jews, Emile
Touati, a leading member of
CRIF, wrote recently:
"The common de-
nominator of French Jewry
is not economic, ideological
nor even religious. It can be
distilled into two worries:
the aggressive resurgence
of anti-Semitism and ra-
cism and the sovereignty
and security of Israel."

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W.B. Soldier
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