Thursday 13 November 2008

German Chancellor: "Protecting Israel's safety is part of Germany's reason of state"

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an end to right wing extremism on Sunday (November 9) during a memorial service being held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of "Kristallnacht" or the Nazi Pogrom. On November 9, 1938 more than 1,400 synagogues and other Jewish institutions were looted and destroyed across Germany and Austria by the Nazis.

"Racism and anti-Semitism must never be given another chance in Germany and Europe," said Merkel during a speech at the service, which was attended by many important German figures including Charlotte Knobloch, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Merkel criticised Iran as well as radical islamic organisations Hamas and Hezbollah. She said that the border for tolerance was being crossed where hate was being preached, prejudices stirred up and violence and terrorism supported. The Chancellor also highlighted Germany's responsibility for the state of Israel.

"There can be no tolerance, for example, if the safety of the state of Israel is threatened by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Protecting Israel's safety is part of Germany's reason of state," said Merkel.

Germany marks the anniversary on Sunday of the 1938 pogrom known as "the Night of Broken Glass" after the windows were smashed of thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues, which were also torched by Adolf Hitler's followers.

At least 91 Jews were killed in the violence whipped up by Nazi storm troopers and about 26,000 were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

Survivors from the time, like German actor Michael Degen, who was a child in 1938, still speak of the chaos during that night.

"I saw the shops, what they looked like, the havoc and I also saw how the people were stealing and plundering. It was terrible," Degen told Reuters on Friday (November 7).

Degen survived the war in the German capital Berlin. His father died in 1940 after he was badly mistreated at a concentration camp. In his book "Nicht alle waren Mörder" (They weren't all Murderers), Degen describes how he and his mother went into hiding in 1943 and managed to survive the deadly Nazi regime with the help of several Germans.

But even 70 years on, Degen is still worried that the same thing could happen all over again.

"I think things only appear to have changed, but the anti-semitism which is increasing once again is alarming. And it is not just the stupid people this time but intelligent people. They are organising things better. And it is starting to nest again in the minds of the middle class. Or perhaps it was never gone," Degen told Reuters TV.

The so-called "Kristallnacht" was the start of the Nazi's systematic and industrial mass murder of six million Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and members of other minorities."

Source: RTV
Picture (EJP): German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Council of Jews in Germany


Anonymous said...

Attacks on Jews as a nation have replaced attacks on Jews as individuals. Anti semitism has not gone away, it was professed by highly intelligent but evil people in the Nazi era and similar people now are disguising the same sentiments under a cloak of anti-Zionism. They must not be allowed to get away with their propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Dr Goebbels was a graduate of Germany's universities, as was Schellenberg. Heydrich was a violinist of concert standard. The bulk of the Nazi vote in the last free election came from the middle classes; the Catholic, Social Democratic and Communist Parties kept their working class support. Vichy was a very middle class affair as is the Front Nationale in France. Anti semitism is as much a middle class as a working class affair. Thank God for Dr Merkl, she obviously understands the danger.