Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivered a sobering message about the current resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany during an event in Jerusalem commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Death Camp at Auschwitz.
At the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on Thursday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his “deepest sorrow” for the Holocaust while warning that the “spirits of evil” are re-emerging in the form of modern anti-Semitism.
“I wish I could say that we Germans have learnt from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading,” he added.
Steinmeier’s comments were designed to communicate deep remorse on behalf of his country for the killing of 6 million Jews during World War II, as he addressed a Holocaust forum in Jerusalemattended by world leaders on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
He opened and closed his speech by reciting prayers in Hebrew. “The spirits of evil are emerging in a new guise, presenting their anti-Semitic, racist, authoritarian thinking as an answer for the future, a new solution to the problems of our age,” said Steinmeier.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was vital to oppose xenophobia and anti-Semitism everywhere. “You just said that it’s not known where anti-Semitism ends,” Putin told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a meeting before the conference convened. “Unfortunately we do know this — Auschwitz is its end-result.”
Dozens of world leaders joined Steinmeier in addressing the World Holocaust Forum on Thusday, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were gathered to remember the Nazi genocide.
After offering a prayer in Hebrew, the German President begins speaking in English at around 0:56.
Auschwitz, the Nazi Death Camp, from the eyes of seven Holocaust survivors
“He told me to run”: Holocaust survivor Rena Quint escaped two Nazi Death Camps