ABSTRACT

The requirement that the Germans must pay compensation to the victims of Nazi oppression, to those, that is, who were physically or economically harmed for reasons of race, creed or nationality, goes back to the period of military government before the creation of the two German states. Israel's internal problems and increasing economic and political identification with the West were soon to affect its relations with West Germany. The International Political System which became established in the1940s and 1950s affected virtually all countries of the world, forcing many to take sides in the power struggle developing between the two superpowers. The declaration by the Federal Government was approved by a large majority in the Bundestag. West German politicians and other public figures have frequently spoken of a moral debt owed by the Germans to the Jews and in particular to Israel, while the Israelis have said that the West Germans have accepted a moral responsibility towards them and their state.