Sunday, 3 Jul 2022 - 4 of Tammuz, 5782

In the Knesset, the president of the German Bundestag lights a candle for an Holocaust victim

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Bärbel Bas attended  Knesset Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day ceremonies.

We stand with Israel,” she declared.

“The lessons of the Holocaust require us to never tolerate the emergence and spread of antisemitism. Germany’s responsibility has not come to an end. We stand with Israel,” declared the President of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, Bärbel Bas, as she was welcomed in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem on Wedneday.  

As she arrived in the Knesset Courtyard, she reviewed the Honor Guard and signed the  guestbook following the ceremony. In the guestbook, she wrote: “Israel and Germany are true friends and I am grateful for that. I view your invitation to attend Holocaust Remembrance Day events as an honor and a vote of confidence and trust. I humbly bow my head as I reflect upon the inconceivable suffering of the victims of the crimes against humanity committed by the Germans.

“Our shared memory on Holocaust Remembrance Day emphasizes the strength of the German-Israeli friendship and the high levels of trust developed between our countries over the years. This friendship is a wonder and a blessing. I thank the Speaker of the Knesset for his invitation. It is a powerful gesture and demonstration of trust.”

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy said: “Your participation in the Knesset’s ceremonies marking Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day is a significant and meaningful expression of the special connection between our countries, the historical responsibility Germany has taken for the crimes of the Holocaust and Germany’s commitment to the security of the State of Israel,” Levy added.

Prior to arriving at the Knesset, President Bas and Speaker Levy participated in a special tour of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial and Center.

As mentioned earlier, following the arrival of the President of the Bundestag and after the official welcome ceremony in the Knesset Courtyard, the two are scheduled to meet in the Knesset Speaker’s Office. President Bas: “Our shared memory on Holocaust Remembrance Day emphasizes the strength of the German-Israeli friendship and the high levels of trust developed between our countries over the years. This friendship is a wonder and a blessing. I thank the Speaker of the Knesset for his invitation. It is a powerful gesture and demonstration of trust.”

On Thursday, the President of the Bundestag participated in the national Unto Every Person There is a Name ceremony, in which the names of Holocaust victims are read aloud at the Knesset on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The theme of this year’s event is Transports to Extinction: The Deportation of the Jews during the Holocaust.

During the ceremony, which was held in Chagall Hall for the 33rd time, six memorial candles were lit by Holocaust survivors and Members of Knesset in memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

As it is every year, the ceremony was also attended by the Israeli President, Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Knesset, the President of the Supreme Court, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate.

Before the ceremony, the President of the Bundestag attended a special memorial service at the entrance to the Knesset building where she lit a personal memorial candle in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. She asked to light a memorial candle bearing the name and story of Irma Natan, who lived in Bundestag President Bas’s hometown of Duisburg. Nathan was the head of the welfare committee of the Jewish community in Duisburg, until she was deported with her husband in April 1942—exactly 80 years ago—to the Izbica transit camp, where they were murdered.

The Speaker of the Knesset, MK Mickey Levy, chose to light a memorial candle with the name of Joseph (Peppo) Varouh, one of the leaders of the uprising in Auschwitz. Joseph Varouh was a Jewish officer in the Greek army who perished in Auschwitz in 1944.

The President of the Bundestag also met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who said: ” You have come for a day laden with meaning, and it is not a coincidence. In recent years, very significant steps have been taken to commemorate the Holocaust in Germany and for a deeper connection between the countries.’’

‘’As the Prime Minister of Israel and on behalf of the government of Israel, I would like to express great appreciation for the new government and for my friend, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has devoted much to remembering the Holocaust,’’ he added.

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