“Decidedly against anti-Semitism” – Merkel’s clear message to her successor – politics abroad

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Jerusalem – It was the sixth visit by Angela Merkel (67, CDU) to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – and the last as Federal Chancellor.

The Chancellor traveled to Israel for two days at the weekend, met the new President Jitzchak Herzog (61) and the Israeli cabinet of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (49) for a political exchange, received an honorary doctorate from the Haifa Technion and visited Yad Vashem.

Photo: POOL/REUTERS

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In parting, an honorary doctorate for “HaKanzlerit” (German: the Chancellor), as Angela Merkel (67, CDU) is respectfully called in Israel. The outgoing Prime Minister was awarded the award by the Technion University in HaifaPhoto: POOL/REUTERS

“Every visit to Yad Vashem touches me deeply anew”, reads Chancellor Angela Merkel her entry from the guest book. “The crimes against the Jewish people documented here are an everlasting responsibility and warning to us Germans”.

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Extraordinary: The obligatory, often very short stopover in Yad Vashem to lay the wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and dedication in the guest book lasted around two hours this time.

Merkel visited various exhibitions and met the German-Jewish chemist Henry Foner, who survived the Holocaust thanks to the Kindertransporte to Great Britain, for a conversation. Afterwards, at her own request, she visited the Historical Holocaust Museum in camera to examine the memories of the Shoah survivors.

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (67) mt dem israelischen Premierminister Naftali Bennett (49) während des Besuchs in Yad VashemFoto: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS

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Chancellor Angela Merkel (67) with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (49) during the visit to Yad VashemFoto: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS

Even after the ceremony in which she laid a wreath next to Israeli Prime Minister Bennett in memory of the six million murdered Jews, Merkel did not rush outside to the waiting press, but thanked the children’s choir – Prime Minister Bennett unceremoniously stepped in as a translator.

With a view to the increasing anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, Angela Merkel read her entry from the guest book for the last time as Chancellor: “The fact that Jewish life has found a home again in Germany after the human crime of the Shoah is an immeasurable vote of confidence for which we are grateful . This trust leads us to take decisive action against anti-Semitism, hatred and violence every day. This is an obligation for every federal government. “

That is Merkel’s farewell message to the Jewish people and Israel – and at the same time her mission to the next federal government, whoever will lead it.

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