Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz by the Soviet Red Army. The anniversary has become the International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorating the organized extermination of the Jewish people by the Nazi regime.
However, according to a representative survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation, an overwhelming 81 percent of Germans have grown weary of dedicating so much time and effort to Holocaust remembrance, and want to instead focus on present-day problems.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier disagreed. “It remains the duty of parents to inform their children that there can never be a line drawn under [our history],” he told Germany’s Bild newspaper.
“We can consider ourselves lucky that after the atrocities of the Third Reich, after 70 million dead in the Second World War and 6 million murdered Jews, that we can be accepted back into the international community, even today,” the foreign minister continued.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed similar sentiments at a ceremony at Auschwitz, calling the former death camp a symbol that “concerns us all, today and tomorrow and not only on anniversaries. …We must not forget. We owe that to the many millions of victims.”
Unfortunately, it would seem a majority of Germans simply don’t see eye-to-eye with their leaders on this issue, and much of that has to do with the modern State of Israel.
According to the survey, more than a third of Germans believe that Israel’s policies in dealing with Palestinian terrorism is comparable to what the Nazis did to the Jews. Only 36 percent of Germans said they hold a positive view of Israel.
PHOTO: A young Israeli visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.