• Short Summary

    When West German Chancellor Willy Brandt sets foot in Israel on June 7, he'll be the first West German Chancellor ever to do so.

  • Description

    When West German Chancellor Willy Brandt sets foot in Israel on June 7, he'll be the first West German Chancellor ever to do so.

    And though the new generations of Jews who've grown up since the war have less harsh attitudes there are still many older people who recall the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp with first-hand experience. They still equate the Germanies of today with the Germany of the time when Jew-baiting, brutality and the "Final Solution" were current ideology.

    Despite his record of fighting against the Nazis, Herr Brandt may be the subject of demonstrations in Israel because many regard him as the representation of a nation they still hate. It is only recently that Israel's Prime Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, said she would never set foot in Germany.

    On her side West Germany, ignoring hostility from sections of World Jewry and older Israelis, has done and is doing much to assist the Israeli economy.

    West German owned factories and clothing companies flourish, employing Israeli labour and exporting to Western Europe; Israeli railways still operate with locomotives bought by Israel with reparation money from West Germany and some of the Israeli merchant navy was bought the same way.

    On the dockside cranes made in western Germany unload Volkswagen and Mercedes cars and German goods are readily available in the shops.

    Lufthanas, the West German National airline, operates a comprehensive service in and out of Led airport carrying West German tourists and businessmen. Many of the tourists stay in hotels financed and operated by West Germans.

    All this seems to augur well for future relationships although there are still the memories of the past and, more recently, the delay by West Germany in recognising the state of Israel.

    SYNOPSIS: Memories of the Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jewish race have inevitably been aroused in Israel, where preparations are going ahead for a visit by the West German Chancellor, Herr Willy Brandt.

    The Yad Vashem memorial building in Jerusalem is one of the first places the Chancellor will visit. It is a remembrance and research centre dedicated to the millions of Jews who were killed in Europe and reminds today' Jews of the recent past in Europe. This photograph of Buchenwald concentration camp bring back memories of its horrors for a survivor who points out people he knew to his family.

    The West German airline, Lufthansa, now brings thousand of German tourists to Israel every year, an indication of the improvement in relations between the two countries since the war.

    Reparation money paid by West Germany to Israel financed the first diesel engines for the railways; cars made in West Germany are now common on Israeli roads and German goods are available in the shops.

    The West German Embassy established a library in Tel Aviv after the two countries exchanged ambassadors an exchange regarded as too delayed by many Israelis. Because of the exchange, several Arab countries severed their diplomatic ties with West Germany.

    This garment factory illustrates the growing economic cooperation between Israel and West Germany.

    It is jointly financed by German and Israeli investors and exports about sixty percent of its output to Western Europe. 130 Jews and Arabs work side by side making towels, bathrobes and leisure-wear. The factory is only one of a number of German investments in Israel and German tourists are also important to Israel's economy.

    At Israel's main port, Haifa, there is further evidence of the cooperation between the two countries.

    These cranes, and the Israeli merchant navy were partly financed by reparation funds. Some of the ships were built in Germany.

    Details of the Chancellor's visit have not been released because of fears that his visit - the first by West German Chancellor - may provoke demonstrations. Herr Brandt himself opposed Nazism, but many Israelis are still bitter at Germany's treatment of the Jews. There is also some lingering resentment at West Germany's hesitation to recognise Israel, seen by Israel as reluctance to jeopardise relations with the Arab countries.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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