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HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS CALL SALE OF GM TANK DIVISION TO FORMER NAZI TANK BUILDER 'SLAP IN FACE TO JEWISH COMMUNITY,' PREDICTS DISINVESTMENT

 NEW YORK, Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- An organization of Holocaust survivors is calling General Motors Corporation's plans to sell its military tank division to a German firm that built tanks for the Nazis in World War II "a slap in the face not only to Holocaust survivors and their families but to the Jewish community and all Americans."
 Children of the Holocaust (COTH), a group of Holocaust survivors and their families, said GM is seeking to sell its Allison Transmission division, currently the United States' sole supplier of sensitive, high- technology transmissions used in the Army's top-of-the-line M1A1 battle tank, to a German company known as ZF Friedrichschafen AG.
 In letters to each of GM's board of directors and top executives, COTH President Rabbi Jabob Bronner, a commissioner on the New York City Commission on Human Rights, wrote, "With these continuing reports of rising neo-Nazism in Germany and escalating violence by German neo-Nazis against Jews, this desperate sellout of critical American defense technology is a slap in the face not only to Holocaust survivors and their families, but to the Jewish community and all Americans.
 "The fact that GM is selling our tank defense to the German ZF -- the very company that built Hitler's Nazi Panzer tanks in World War II -- is particularly outrageous and chilling," Bronner wrote.
 The letter noted, "A bipartisan effort by the United States Congress to halt the sale, begun less than a week before Congress adjourned, quickly garnered the support of a dozen U.S. congressmen and senators from New York to California.
 "We are heartened by their commitment to protect our national security by blocking this sale and their promise to 'push for disinvestment of this sale in the new year,'" Bronner wrote.
 The group enclosed a copy of a "Dear Colleague" letter signed by two congressmen announcing the introduction of a resolution calling on the president to prohibit the sale. Also enclosed was a letter to Secretary of Defense Cheney, signed by ten Democratic and Republican congressmen, expressing their objections to the sale.
 Bronner also noted, "We are also heartened by the promise of the new Clinton-Gore Administration to scrutinize these kinds of foreign buyouts much more carefully than the present administration has. We are going to urge, along with the Congress, that the Clinton-Gore Administration use the Executive Branch's continuing power to force disinvestment of this purchase as soon as it takes office."
 The group urged GM to "voluntarily stop this sellout before the General Motors name is further tarnished. We believe all Americans will see this as the patriotic and sensitive thing for GM to do. At the very least, U.S. corporations should stop selling critical defense technology to the Germans until Germany shows a willingness and an ability to quell neo-Nazi violence against Jews."
 "Those who survived the genocidal terror of Hitler's concentration camps will never forget what happens when people and nations...and corporations...remain silent in the face of growing evil. We do not intend to remain silent on this issue or any other that threatens to weaken America's defense or to help in any way the rebirth of the German Nazi Movement," Bronner wrote.
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~NOTE TO EDITORS: Rabbi Jacob Bronner, son of Holocaust survivors, is the president of Children of the Holocaust. He also serves as a commissioner on the New York City Commission on Human Rights~
 ~CONTACT: Rabbi Jacob Bronner, president of Children of the Holocaust, 718-435-0300~


CO: Children of the Holocaust; General Motors Corporation ST: New York, Michigan IN: AUT SU:

GK-OS -- NY063 -- 2410 11~18~92 13:38 EST
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Date:Nov 18, 1992
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