Israel's parliament speaker: We must maintain memory of Holocaust
Mickey Levy recites Mourner's Kaddish during emotional address to German Bundestag
Speaker of Israel's parliament, Mickey Levy, told his German counterparts on Thursday in Berlin that the memory of the Holocaust must be preserved.
"Maintaining the memory of the Holocaust is a heavy task... which stands upon every generation," Levy said in Hebrew.
He was invited to speak at the Reichstag building, which houses Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag, for the ceremony commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The event is marked annually on the day that the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was liberated from the Nazis in 1945.
Levy remarked on the powerful symbolism of the Reichstag, where "we learn how fragile democracy is and the importance of protecting it."
He thanked the previous speaker, Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher, who told of her deportation to Theresienstadt at the age of 7.
Levy recalled his recent visit to Wannsee, where 80 years and seven days ago the Nazis planned the "Final Solution," which was the extermination of Europe's Jews.
"In 80 years and seven days, both [Germany and Israel] have been able to stand anew, to emerge from the historical trauma and build ourselves anew courageously and peacefully," Levy said.
He thanked Germany for its commitment to Israel's security, specifically mentioning former chancellor Angela Merkel, while telling current Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Israel looked forward to working with him.
Levy ended his address on an emotional note, through tears reading part of the Mourner's Kaddish from a prayer book of a German Jewish boy used in his bar mitzvah celebration in 1938, just before Kristallnacht.
"Today we ask to remember and build together a future," Levy said.