Dresdner Bank moves seminar after criticism
10 February 2006, BERLIN - Dresdner Bank cancelled Thursday its plans to use the Jewish Museum in Berlin as the venue for a seminar among historians that aims to explore how the bank helped the Nazis.
10 February 2006
BERLIN - Dresdner Bank cancelled Thursday its plans to use the Jewish Museum in Berlin as the venue for a seminar among historians that aims to explore how the bank helped the Nazis.
The move followed criticism from a German national Jewish leader who said he found the choice of venue offensive.
The Eugen Gutmann Gesellschaft, a research arm of the bank, said bank premises would be used instead for the February 17 event. It added that W Michael Blumenthal, the museum head, had deplored the change of plan, but would respect it.
The remorseful bank, now a subsidiary of the insurer Allianz, has funded a decade-long investigation of every connection it ever had to the Nazis and plans to publish the findings on February 17 as well as hold the seminar.
During the Nazi period, Jewish bankers were sacked from Dresdner, which became the bank of choice for the SS and invested in the exploitation of eastern Europe.
Salomon Korn, deputy chairman of the German Council of Jews, had accused the museum of "cosying up" to the bank, the Berliner Zeitung reported Wednesday. He said his organization was so offended at the venue that it would not attend the seminar.
The award-winning museum in Berlin is devoted to the entire history of Jews in Germany.
Korn welcomed the venue change, saying, "It would have saved us the controversy of the last few days and weeks if they had decided this in the first place." He said it remained praiseworthy that the bank had researched its Nazi past and would be publishing this.
Subject: German news