Berlin: PM to dedicate time to Shoah memory

Netanyahu Koehler  248.88 (photo credit: )
Netanyahu Koehler 248.88
(photo credit: )
Interspersed amid Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's diplomatic meetings in Germany on Thursday will be two Holocaust related events. At the first event, the editor of the Bild newspaper, Kai Dickman, will present Netanyahu with the architectural blueprints for the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Discovered last year in a Berlin home, and acquired by the Berlin-based Axel Springer publishing and media corporation which publishes Bild, the blueprints include detailed plans for the camp. Some of the documents bear notes in the margins, or signatures by senior Nazis, including Heinrich Himmler. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Director of Yad Vashem Archives Haim Gertner will take part in the ceremony. "As original plans detailing the construction of Auschwitz, where some 1.1 million Jews were murdered, these documents have great historical significance," said Shalev. "They constitute concrete illustration of the Germans' systematic effort to carry out the 'Final Solution.'" The document will be housed at Yad Vashem. Netanyahu will also visit the villa in Wannsee, a district of Berlin, where the Nazi leadership convened on January 20, 1942, and hatched their plans for a "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Netanyahu will be accompanied by cabinet minister Yossi Peled, a Holocaust survivor whose parents had sent him to a foster family during the war, where he was raised as a Christian. The prime minister invited Peled to join him on the Germany leg of his four-day European trip. Netanyahu also invited the pilot of the Sandor plane that flew him to Berlin to join him. The pilot, who he said was the son of a Holocaust survivor, had told Netanyahu on the flight over from London how moved he was to be flying the prime minister of Israel into Berlin. "I always think not only about the present and future, but also the past - I don't think it is possible any other way," Netanyahu said at a press briefing shortly after arriving in Berlin.