The writing 'Holocaust' in the former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald

German FM: Diplomats shared blame for Holocaust

Annalena Baerbock says Nazi-era ministers 'put themselves at the service of the crimes and genocide of the Nazi regime', adds staffers will undergo training on issues of diversity and antidiscrimination

Associated Press |
Published: 01.20.22, 23:00
Germany's foreign minister said Thursday that the country's diplomats during the Nazi era shared blame for the Holocaust, and that she wants more training for staff to speak up against all forms of discrimination.
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  • In a statement marking the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, Annalena Baerbock said it was important to recognize the role played by members of Germany's diplomatic service at the time.
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    people walk behind the writing 'Holocaust' during the international Holocaust remembrance day in the former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald
    people walk behind the writing 'Holocaust' during the international Holocaust remembrance day in the former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald
    The writing 'Holocaust' in the former the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald
    (Photo: AP)
    The meeting of senior Nazi officials by a Berlin lake on Jan. 20, 1942, is seen as a key moment when Germany began implementing the plan to systematically round up and kill all Jews in Europe.
    "Today we remember the murdered Jewish women, men and children, and those who survived the Holocaust," Baerbock said. "We will never forget what Germany did to them."
    She added that Foreign Ministry officials "who put themselves at the service of the crimes and genocide of the Nazi regime also bear responsibility for their suffering."
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    The 'Haus der Wannseekonferenz' (House of the Wannsee Conference) is pictured in Berlin, Germany,
    The 'Haus der Wannseekonferenz' (House of the Wannsee Conference) is pictured in Berlin, Germany,
    The 'Haus der Wannseekonferenz' (House of the Wannsee Conference) pictured in Berlin, Germany
    (Photo: AP)
    "This chapter of history must act as an incentive to us to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again," she added.
    "From now on, all our staff throughout the world will be reminded of this on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27," said Baerbock.
    "We intend to focus even more strongly on the issues of diversity and antidiscrimination in the context of further training in order to ensure that our staff remain vigilant."
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    Annalena Baerbock
    Annalena Baerbock
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock
    (Photo: Reuters)
    A critical exploration of the role played by the ministry is already part of the training that diplomats undergo, including how to spot and confront anti-Semitism.
    The German government's coordinator against anti-Semitism has called for teachers to be required to visit the Wannsee Conference site or former concentration camps as part of their training.
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