Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy pleaded with German parliament members to take additional Holocaust commemoration measures in his address in Hebrew at the Bundestag on Thursday.
Levy, who is the first top Israeli figure to meet with new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, thanked former chancellor Angela Merkel for working tirelessly for the sake of the relationship between Israel and Germany, and said Israel has confidence in Scholz to continue building the relationship between the two countries and peoples.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that as much as we have done, it is our obligation to do more,” Levy said. “We are called upon to preserve the memory, to ensure its commemoration for the eternity of humankind. But alongside the memory, we are also called upon to shape a vision from it. We are called upon to preserve hope, and to plan a future together – a future based on shared values and dreams. We must connect and empower our young people – the generation of grandchildren and great-grandchildren; the third and fourth generations and the generations to come, and guide them to join together forces and minds, to advance a future filled with inspiration; a future based on the values of democracy, freedom and tolerance, which are shared by Israel and Germany.”
Levy said Israel and Germany must “bring up our young people on the best of the human spirit, to warn them against the hatred of others simply because they are others, and to issue the paramount eternal warning of the Holocaust: Never again!”
He concluded his address by reciting part of the kaddish in memory of those who perished. The speaker read from a Jewish prayer book originally used by a German-Jewish bar mitzvah boy in 1938, on loan from Yad Vashem.
“Eighty years and seven days ago, an attempt was made to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the Earth,” he said, referencing the Wannsee Conference. “Since then, we have been privileged to see the revival of our people and the rebuilding of our land, our historical homeland – the State of Israel. Today we are asking: Remember, always remember, and build a promising future together.”