Scholz: The fight against anti-Semitism is the top priority

Berlin (dpa) – Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared war on anti-Semitism in Germany and has sharply criticized any kind of relativization of the Nazi mass murder of the Jews of Europe. “For the federal government, I can say that the fight against anti-Semitism, the fight against right-wing extremism and racism is our top priority,” said the SPD politician on Sunday in Berlin. “We will not tolerate anti-Semitism – and that includes relativising the Holocaust – in Germany.”

Scholz called the statements by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Chancellery in mid-August an “outrageous lapse”. The German government made that very clear to the Palestinian leadership.

At a joint press conference with Scholz in Berlin, Abbas accused Israel of multiple “Holocausts” against the Palestinians, triggering outrage. “Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations since 1947 to this day,” Abbas said at the time, adding: “50 massacres, 50 holocausts.” Scholz was criticized for not replying in the press conference, but only later sharply distancing himself.

On Sunday, Scholz spoke at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the Yad Vashem Circle of Friends in Germany . There, the President of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, said that Abbas had trivialized the Shoa and the Nazi annihilation policy with his “completely exaggerated accusation”. Schuster demanded that the federal government’s grants to the Palestinian Authority should finally be subject to conditions. “Why, I keep asking myself, should German taxpayers finance this kind of policy?”

The Friends of Yad Vashem support the work of the central Holocaust memorial on Mount Remembrance in Jerusalem, founded in 1953 by the Israeli Parliament. The memorial is dedicated to documenting, researching, educating and commemorating the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered during the Holocaust. One should never stop telling the story of the victims, said the chairman of the German Circle of Friends, Kai Diekmann.

92-year-old Holocaust survivor Fanny Ben-Ami also spoke at the memorial event. She had been saved from the National Socialists as a child without her parents. Now she said she often thinks of other children who are now fleeing without parents. Racism and anti-Semitism, “that shouldn’t be the case in our modern world, and yet it’s still there,” she said. She often wonders if enough is being done about it. “What I actually want to say is that politics and murder are good friends, even today. And that’s what I have to say.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220903-99-618764/4

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