Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier received Israeli President Izchak Herzog for a three-day state visit to Germany. Steinmeier welcomed Herzog and his wife Michal with military honors at Bellevue Palace in Berlin on Sunday. Steinmeier's wife Elke Büdenbender also attended the ceremony in the official residence of the Federal President.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to receive the state guest on Monday. A walk through the Brandenburg Gate was then planned for Herzog with the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey (SPD). In the afternoon, the Herzog couple is expected to attend the 50th anniversary of the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games at the air base in Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich. In addition to the survivors of the victims, Federal President Steinmeier also takes part in the commemoration.
Shortly before the anniversary, the federal government had agreed with the surviving dependents on compensation of 28 million euros after decades of dispute. This avoided a scandal at the memorial event - for a long time it was unclear whether the bereaved and Herzog would take part.
Before leaving, Herzog said in Israel that every visit to Germany carries "enormous personal weight for him. We will talk about the past and the future." The main part of his visit will be the memorial service for eleven Israelis who were murdered in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
Herzog said he will also visit the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. His father Chaim Herzog, also President of Israel, came to the camp as a British officer in 1945 during the liberation.
"I will also address the German Bundestag and reveal my diplomatic thoughts on the key issues on the agenda, including Iran's nuclear program," Herzog said.