President of the German Bundestag Bärbel Bas (left) and Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy (center)

Head of German parliament visits Israel for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas is the first German official to participate in Knesset's Holocaust memorial events; Speaker Mickey Levy and Bas visit Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

Moran Azulay |
Published: 04.27.22, 17:19
President of the German Bundestag Bärbel Bas was welcomed on Wednesday by Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy as she arrived in Israel ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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  • This is the first time a senior German official will be participating in a Knesset Holocaust memorial event.
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    President of the German Bundestag Bärbel Bas (left) and Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy (center)
    (Photo: Noam Moshkovitz)
    The German officer started off her visit with a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem alongside Speaker Levy. She thanked the museum for giving the victims "a face and a name."
    Afterward, Bas was welcomed at the Knesset in an official ceremony and signed the guest book, writing: "We must not forget. Germans wiped out 6 million lives. I think of the dead with deep grief and shame."
    Ahead of the visit, Speaker Levy said "I wish to thank the friend of Israel, Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, who accepted my invitation and will take part in the Holocaust Remembrance Day events at the Knesset. This is yet another important expression of the special bond between Israel and Germany, and of the historical responsibility Germany has accepted for the crimes of the Holocaust. I have no doubt that this moving visit will also help strengthen the relationship and parliamentary work between the Knesset and the Bundestag."
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    Bas and Levy
    (Photo: Noam Moshkovitz)
    The two heads of parliament will later meet with former chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who is a Holocaust survivor, and will hear about his experiences during World War II.
    On Thursday morning, Bas and Levy will open the Knesset's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony with a candle-lighting at 9:30am and will both issue statements. At 11am, the traditional "Unto Every Person There is a Name" ceremony will be held in Knesset's Chagall State Hall. During the ceremony, names of people who were murdered in the Holocaust will be read aloud, and six memorial candles will be lit by lawmakers and Holocaust survivors.
    The event will be held in the presence of President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Speaker Levy, Bunsedtag President Bas, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut. At 12:30pm, senior state and IDF officials will attend an exhibition of aerial photographs of Auschwitz taken by the Allied Air Forces during World War II.
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    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg, Paul Hertz)
    "For me, this visit is a very emotional day because I am very aware that I have been invited to the national commemoration as a German and, of course, also as the person representing the German Bundestag," Bas told reporters.
    "That is something special that I feel very strongly personally. And I am very grateful that I have received the invitation to take part in the commemorations."
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