Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, a son of Holocaust survivors, will visit Germany for the first time Tuesday to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between Germany and Israel.
Edelstein avoided going to Germany for many years, and said ahead of the visit that “as a son of Holocaust survivors, I decided to never step on German ground, but my position requires me to do so.
“Standing on German ground as part of my official position as Knesset Speaker will surely give me goosebumps,” he added. “However, I feel that now the time has come, 50 years after we established relations with Germany, that I too should reestablish my relationship with Germany.”
The Knesset speaker is expected to give a speech in the Bundestag and meet with German President Joachim Gauck and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Edelstein will be joined on his trip by MKs Nachman Shai (Zionist Union), chairman of the parliamentary friendship group with Germany, Tali Ploskov (Kulanu), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) and Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beytenu), as well as Knesset Secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz and Or Akiva Mayor Ya’akov Edery, a former MK and minister who used to lead the parliamentary friendship group with Germany.
The delegation will meet with German members of the friendship group and take part in a ceremony at Platform 17, from which the Jews of Berlin were taken to their deaths during the Holocaust.
Earlier this year, the Bundestag President Norbert Lammert addressed the Knesset.