Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock issued the following statement today (20 January) on the 80th anniversary of the so‑called Wannsee Conference, at which the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews by the Nazi regime was discussed and the division of duties decided, as well as on the role and responsibility of the Foreign Office in the murder of the Jews of Europe:
Today we remember the murdered Jewish women, men and children, and those who survived the Holocaust. We will never forget what Germany did to them. Civil servants of the Foreign Office who put themselves at the service of the crimes and genocide of the Nazi regime also bear responsibility for their suffering. They thereby became willing accomplices to injustice. This chapter of history must act as an incentive to us to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.
On the contrary, whoever holds a position of responsibility as a public servant must first and foremost be committed to justice and humanity, and not power. The critical exploration of the role of the Foreign Service during the National Socialist period is therefore an integral part of training at the Federal Foreign Office. We also work to raise awareness among all staff in training when it comes to recognising antisemitism and taking action when they encounter it. From now on, all our staff throughout the world will be reminded of this on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January. And we intend to focus even more strongly on the issues of diversity and antidiscrimination in the context of further training in order to ensure that our staff remain vigilant.