ADL CALLS ON GERMANY TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION AGAINST
BRUTAL ATTACK BY SOLDIERS ON FOREIGNERS AND TO HASTILY ADDRESS ARMY'S ULTRA-RIGHT
New York, NY, March 20, 1997...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
called on the German government to take stronger action against the brutal
attack by a group of Bundeswehr soldiers on Turkish and Italian residents
in Detmold. ADL also urged the government to address the possible presence
of a significant group of ultra-right wing members in the Bundeswehr and
stressed the importance of reassuring people of Turkish background in Germany
that their right to safety and justice will be met.
In a letter to Klaus Kinkel, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abraham H.
Foxman, ADL National Director, said that the attack, "is a grim reminder
that anti-foreign bigotry remains at work in today's Germany." While
he commended Defense Minister Volker Ruehe's prompt condemnation of the
attack and apology to the families, Mr. Foxman said it "does not meet
the need of the moment. I believe that the highest authorities of the federal
government must take note of this damnable act and, both in words and in
action, show the world that Germany's defense forces cannot afford such
Noting that a recent report stated that there is a significant group
of ultra-right members in the Bundeswehr, Mr. Foxman said, "If true,
such a development needs the most urgent attention."
ADL encouraged German authorities on all levels of government and the
key institutions in each community to reassure Germany's large Turkish population
that they can rely on the government and the majority of the German people
to support them in their right to safety and justice.
"Our organization has learned from bitter experience that discrimination
against any one minority or group can be combated effectively only by strong
and decisive action to fight bigotry against all those who are 'different.'"
ADL is currently working with German school systems in several cities
to raise awareness of what prejudice and bigotry is all about and that being
different, far from being threatening, can be a source of enrichment to
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.