Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Germany's Holocaust Responsibility is Forever, Says German Foreign Minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd from R), his wife Sara and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (C) look at candles and wreaths they laid at Track 17, the place where the Nazis deported tens of thousands of Berlin Jews to concentration camps during World War II, on December 6, 2012 in Berlin.

In the presence of Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanayhu, at the end of his visit to the German capital as part of the fourth annual Israel-Germany ministerial meeting, he said Track 17, the site from which 55,000 Berlin Jews were deported to Nazi death camps, reminds Germany “of the darkest chapter of our history”.

Commemorating such atrocities should serve as a reminder that “German responsibility for the crimes against humanity of the Shoah (Holocaust) has no expiration date. The story does not end with a generation”.

Germany’s debt to Nazi atrocities means “we will not tolerate anti-Semitism in our country”, he insisted, adding that his country’s acknowledgement of its chequered past makes its partnership with Israel all the more sacred, as it seeks to work “together to make a peaceful, secure and prosperous future”.

Also addressing attendees, Netanyahu added that “my presence here today symbolises the victory of our people over those who tried to annihilate us”.

Dissecting anti-Semitism into two distinct camps, he said overt prejudice was characterised by hard-to-ignore “physical assaults, expulsions, pogroms and murders”, whilst the more constant threat exists in “a prior wave of blood libels and terrible defamations against the Jewish people”.

The Jewish people could now rely on the defence of Israel’s army as he pledged “the Government of Israel, like all of its predecessors, tells the truth of Israel to the nations of the world”.

Ahead of his arrival in Berlin, Netanyahu released a statement paying tribute to the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust: ““From the ashes of the Holocaust, we established a state and an army. Attacks on the Jewish People and its state have not ceased since our independence. The difference is that today we have an army to defend us and we have a government that tells the world the truth."