Knesset Speaker to address Bundestag on Holocaust Memorial Day

Mickey Levy will make a point of speaking in Hebrew

 KNESSET SPEAKER Mickey Levy: We cannot lose our state to baseless hatred.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
KNESSET SPEAKER Mickey Levy: We cannot lose our state to baseless hatred.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Mickey Levy will become the first Knesset speaker to ever address the Bundestag when he travels to Berlin to take part in Thursday’s events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Levy was invited by his German counterpart, MP Bärbel Bas, the president of the Bundestag, to address the parliament, which Levy will purposely do in Hebrew.

He will attend events marking the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, when the Nazis decided on the “Final Solution to the Jewish question” in which the Jews of German-occupied Europe were deported to occupied Poland and murdered. Levy will represent Israel at a memorial ceremony at the Wannsee villa.

On the trip, Levy will also meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, new Chancellor Olaf Scholz and new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Levy will be the first senior Israeli figure to meet with Scholz since he replaced Angela Merkel on December 8.

Levy’s wife, Nurit, and Likud MK David Bitan will accompany him on the visit. The delegation will visit synagogues and other Jewish institutions and meet with representatives of the Jewish community.

 A PORTRAIT of Reinhard Heydrich is displayed as part of the exhibition at The House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin. (credit: ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS) A PORTRAIT of Reinhard Heydrich is displayed as part of the exhibition at The House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin. (credit: ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS)

The official visit is being coordinated by Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff, in one of his final duties before his term ends after five years. He and his wife, Laura, will return to Israel on March 31, the day after his 67th birthday, which is the mandatory retirement age for civil servants.

Issacharoff will be replaced by former ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, who was appointed to the post on December 29. He is head of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at Reichman University’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.

“The speaker of the Knesset’s visit to Berlin before the Bundestag and the entire German leadership is an important testament to the strength of Holocaust remembrance and the unique bilateral relationship,” our countries have, he said.