On the afternoon of May 14, 1948, while the People’s Council headed by David Ben-Gurion convened in Tel Aviv to declare the establishment of the State of Israel, members of the “Palestinian Delegation to the Surviving Remnant [of European Jewry]” gathered around radios at the Jewish Agency’s headquarters in Möhlstraße in Munich to listen to this declaration. Following the announcement, the Delegation head, Chaim Yahil (formerly Heinrich Hoffmann, 1905–1974), spoke excitedly about this significant event in the history of the Jewish people, and a sense of enthusiasm pervaded to everyone who attended the meeting. A day later, the festive atmosphere was replaced by a series of consultations dealing with the implications of the establishment of the Jewish state on the future of She’arit Hapleta (the Surviving Remnant) – Jewish Holocaust survivors who had stayed in displaced persons (DP) camps in Germany. The Delegation, which had arrived in post-war Germany in December 1945 to support Jewish DPs, now sketched the plan for their legal Aliyah to the State of Israel. As part of these activities, Yahil urged the newly founded Israeli Foreign Ministry, to open a consulate in Munich, where most of the DPs were concentrated. In the summer of 1948, Yahil’s request was approved, and a consulate under his leadership was accredited to the Western Occupation Authorities in Postwar Germany.
From the establishment of the State of Israel, the Israeli officialdom and society fiercely objected to renewal of Jewish life in Germany and demanded its banning. In their view, the foundation of a state for the Jewish people not only allowed the end of Jewish life in Germany, but also required it: the existence of Jewish life in the land of the perpetrators was unacceptable. If so, during its existence in Munich, the consulate was required to act in the gap between the banning of Jewish life in Germany on the one hand, and contacting the Jewish population as a representative of the Jewish state on the other hand. The fact that two different Jewish groups existed in Germany in the late 1940s and early 1950s, one of which was the group of DPs waiting for immigration mainly to Israel and the second a group of German Jews who had rebuilt the communities, naturally led the consulate to develop a different attitude towards each of the groups.