Angry Germany points to the past - 1997-01-11
Germans of all political persuasions and religious beliefs united yesterday to rebut the slur that their country was conducting a Nazi-style persecution of Scientologists.
"It is disgraceful and irresponsible to draw such historical parallels which are completely out of touch with reality," said Michel Friedman, a board member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. "It's totally off the mark. Today we have a democracy and a state based on the rule of law. Then it was a dictatorship."
The "open letter" from 34 leading American entertainers, published as an advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, drew fire from opposition and government alike. Klaus Kinkel, the Foreign Minister, accused Scientologists of "distorting history".