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July 21, 1989 - Image 104

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-21

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

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104

NEWS I

German University Uses
Nazi Victims' Tissue

Bonn (JTA) — A West Ger-
man university is continuing
to conduct research with
human tissues taken from
people subjected to Nazi
scientific experiments, an in-
dependent commission in-
vestigating the practice
charged in a report issued last
week.
The commission, chaired by
Professor Albin Eser, director
of the Freiburg-based Max
Planck Institute, said Tueb-
ingen University persisted in
using microscopic tissue
samples.
The commission said it
could not establish the exact
number of samples from vic-
tims of Nazism, but demand-
ed that the samples be buried
and the practice abandoned.
The use of samples taken in
Nazi experiments was expos-
ed in January by the state-
owned ARD television net-
work. The investigatory com-
mission was established in
April.
The administrators of three
of West German universities
mentioned by ARD said they
knew of no tissue samples of
Nazi victims at their
institutions.
The fourth school, Tueb-
ingen, said two microscopic
samples from its anatomy col-
lection had been withdrawn.
According to Chancellor
Georg Sandberger, the ARD
report was grossly
exaggerated.
But the news media,
especially Israeli reporters
who pursued the ARD report,
wrote later that the univer-
sities mentioned had used
body parts from victims of the
Nazis, including Jews, Com-
munists, disabled and men-
tally ill people and so-called
criminals.
Sandberger stated in many
interviews that Tuebingen
had conducted a thorough in-
quiry of its own and found
that the only samples came
from a young Polish woman
and a young German who
were decapitated by the Nazis
in Stuttgart.
"The tissues may have been
left over from the times when
the Nazis delivered corpses to
universities for anatomical
study. In our collection now
there are neither body parts
nor tissues which we can
trace to the Nazi time," he
said.
That statement clearly con-
tradicted the commission's
report.
University officials are now
saying there was a
misunderstanding of who con-

stituted a Nazi victim. They
said members of the commis-
sion failed to differentiate
between individuals executed
because of their race or beliefs
and those who were convicted
criminals.
The Eser commission
responded that it reached its
conclusions on the basis of a
thorough analysis and con-
sidered only Nazi victims, not
criminals in the general
sense.
The commission observed
that during the Nazi era, the
so- called Peoples Courts con-
demned individuals to death
who were found guilty of
"behaving against the in-
terests of the people."
That applied to any oppo-
nent of the Nazi regime.

AJCongress
Wants Elections

(JTA) — In a letter hand
delivered to Israel's Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir and
Finance Minister Shimon
Peres, the American Jewish
Congress appealed to the two
Israeli leaders not to weaken
or abandon the proposal for
Palestinian elections which
"for the first time held out
real promise for movement
towards an eventual
negotiated settlement."
Robert K. Lifton, president,
and Henry Siegman, ex-
ecutive director of the
American Jewish Congress
stressed in the letter that the
AJCongress does not wish to
inject itself into the current
controversy over the possible
dissolution of the unity
government but was deeply
concerned over the repercus-
sions of any weakening of the
proposal for Palestinian elec-
tions that had been approved
by the Knesset and endorsed
by the U.S. government.
Calling the election plan a
"creative approach for a
breakthrough in the more
than 40 years of conflict," the
Jewish leaders warned that
it would be tragic if that in-
itiative were compromised by
the debilitating conditions
imposed on it at the recent
meeting of the Likud's Cen-
tral Committee, or by the
dissolution of the unity
government."
The lack of momentum in
the peace process, they said,
will leave a dangerous void
which might result in a
renewed outbreak of war bet-
ween Israel and its Arab
neighbors, or the imposition
of a settlement.

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