Against the backdrop of a surge in antisemitic incidents in Germany, students from three schools in the country have signed a pledge committing to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and combating antisemitism.
This initiative was spearheaded by the Israeli Embassy in Berlin in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The embassy organized a unique meeting for the students with Holocaust survivor Kurt Hellmann, who shared his story. The emotional encounter led the students to ask Hellmann many questions about the rise of antisemitism in Germany and his experiences as a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust living in Germany today.
Hellmann tearfully emphasized the responsibility of the students themselves, the future of Germany, to stand against and act today against antisemitism, hate speech, calls for the destruction of Israel, and attacks on Jews and Israelis in the streets of Berlin.
Three schools from across Germany participated in the event, with one of the schools experiencing a particularly poignant moment: on the morning of the October 7th massacre, the students were on their way to the airport to participate in a youth exchange project in Israel. With the tragic news, they had to return home, but they are still eager to come to Israel after the end of the war.
In their commitment, the students pledged to honor the memory of the six million murdered: dedicating time, resources, and personal commitment to ensure that the memory is not erased and serves as a lesson for future generations.
They also committed not only to learning about the Holocaust but also about its relevance today and to incorporating the topic into their curriculum to deepen their understanding of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Additionally, in their pledge, the students expressed their willingness to combat antisemitism, racism, and all forms of discrimination both within and outside the school. In general, they committed to creating a tolerant environment and promoting mutual respect.