PM at Wannsee Villa: The Jewish people live
Several hours after receiving Auschwitz concentration camp blueprints, Netanyahu visits place where Nazi Germany's leaders planned 'Final Solution' for Europe's Jews. 'If my father, who was murdered by the Nazis, was able to see me now, he would be proud,' says Minister Yossi Peled
"The destruction of the Jewish people was planned in detail in this place," Netanyahu said. "As the prime minister of Israel, I have three words to say here, and I have written them down in the guestbook: 'Am Yisrael Chai' (the Jewish people live)."
During his visit, Netanyahu received a thorough briefing from the historian running the place, asked many questions and was presented with original documents displayed on the site, including some documenting the historic conference.
Minister Yossi Peled, a Holocaust survivor, joined the prime minister's tour of the place. "I never knew my father, who was murdered by the Nazis," said Peled. "But if he is looking down from the sky and seeing his son, a major-general in the Israel Defense Forces and an Israeli minister, he is probably proud."
Briefed by historian at Wannsee Villa (Photo: AFP)
Earlier, Netanyahu said that a great change has taken place in the Jewish people's situation since World War II: "The Jewish people, 70 years ago, were defenseless and incapable of resisting. Today the situation has changed completely. Every generation, all kinds of oppressors rise up against us. But the great change which took place in our generation is the rediscovery of the Jewish people's ability of defense. This is well expressed in Yossi Peled's story."
Peled grew up as a Christian until the age of nine, and this is what saved his life. Many years later, he became the Northern Command chief and an Israeli minister.
"There are those who will talk about an analogy in the Jewish people's situation," added Netanyahu, who earlier in the day received the blueprints of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
"Jews in any generation must defend themselves, and today they can defend themselves. Therefore this analogy is incomplete. It's true that nothing can be compared to the Holocaust, but the Holocaust was a series of acts which proved the Jewish people's helplessness."