Irit Chen

Contact: iritchen7@gmail.com

The Purchasing Mission to Cologne between Israel and Germany, 1953-1965 

This study focuses on the Purchasing Mission to Cologne, the official and exclusive representative of the Government of Israel in the Federal Republic of Germany – West Germany (hereinafter: Germany) before the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Mission began operating in Cologne in June 1953 as a commercial body responsible for the implementation of the Reparations Agreement. It shut its doors in August 1965 with the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Bonn, before the termination of the official date of the Reparations Agreement. Senior officials in the Purchasing Mission to Cologne, as Felix Eliezer Shinnar, Chaim Yahil  and Yohanan Meroz  emigrated to Mandatory Palestine from the German-speaking space in the 1930s following the rise of Nazism to power.

The research will examine the role and contribution of the delegation’s members, who had returned to their birthplace as representatives of the State of Israel, in deepening the early connections between the two countries up to the establishment of official diplomatic ties.