Israel's Herzog visits Germany to attend Munich massacre memorial
'Every visit to Germany carries with it tremendous personal weight. We shall discuss the past and the future'
Israel's President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog arrived on Sunday for a three-day visit to Germany, where they will participate in the 50th anniversary memorial for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
Herzog was welcomed by his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the presidential palace in Berlin. After posing for photos with their spouses, Herzog and Steinmeier inspected a military honor guard.
The visit will take place from September 4-6, with Herzog expected to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior officials, according to a press release from the President's Office.
Herzog will deliver an address before the German Bundestag and visit the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, accompanied by Steinmeier.
Additionally, Herzog and his wife will participate in the 50th anniversary memorial for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes, along with the victims' families.
September 5 marks the anniversary of the massacre, where Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage at the poorly secured athletes' village by Palestinian gunmen from the radical Black September group.
Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians and a German policeman died after a standoff and subsequent rescue effort erupted into gunfire.
Before his departure, Herzog stated: “I am leaving this morning on a state visit to Germany, at the invitation of the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Every visit to Germany carries with it tremendous personal weight. We shall discuss the past and the future."
"I shall visit the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, which my father liberated together with other British Army soldiers on 15 April 1945. The main part of the visit will be the memorial marking the 50-year anniversary of the terrible massacre of the eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972," he continued.
"I shall participate in the memorial there, together with the families of the murdered athletes, Germany’s top leadership and officials from the Olympic Committee of Israel. I shall represent the people of Israel and the State of Israel. I shall also appear before the German Bundestag and reveal my diplomatic thoughts on the major issues on the agenda, including the Iranian nuclear program.”