In a moving speech in the Bundestag, Israel's President Izchak Herzog called for the partnership between Germany and Israel to be deepened. At the same time, the memory of the German crimes under Nazi rule must be preserved, he stressed in Berlin.
"The Jewish nation is a nation of remembrance," said the President. This is part of their identity. The members of the Bundestag and invited guests rose at his request to pray together to commemorate the souls of the six million murdered Jews.
Bas: "Anti-Semitism is among us"
Bundestag President Bärbel Bas said: "Anti-Semitism is not just a problem of the past. Not just a problem for others, for extremists. Anti-Semitism is among us, in the middle of our society." Here there should be no turning a blind eye and no misunderstood tolerance. Bas again promised to work to advance plans to set up a German-Israeli youth organization. The Bundestag had already passed a corresponding resolution in 2018. However, not much has happened since then.
Probably also with a view to the Middle East conflict and the rights of the Palestinians, he said: "We never feared criticism, we never stopped criticism." Israel stretch out its hand in peace. The Palestinians would have to fight terrorism first.
Visit to Bergen Belsen
At the end of his state visit, Herzog wants to visit the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp memorial together with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In his speech in the Bundestag, Herzog recalled the year 1987. At that time, his father, Chaim Herzog, was the first Israeli President to visit Germany. Herzog said that he will never forget the descriptions of his father, who entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp shortly after its liberation from Nazi rule and visited the memorial as a state guest in 1987. His father told him about the mountains of corpses and "hell on earth".
The exhibition "70 Years of the Luxembourg Agreement" was opened in the Bundestag. In the agreement concluded in 1952 by the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Israel and the Jewish Claims Conference, the Federal Republic undertakes to pay reparations to the Jewish victims of National Socialism. It was signed in Luxembourg by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (CDU) and Israeli Foreign Minister Mosche Scharett.