Speech by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the memorial ceremony at the Track 17 (“Gleis 17”) memorial attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

06.12.2012 - Speech

-- Translation of advance text --

Mr Prime Minister,
Mrs Netanyahu,
Ministers of the State of Israel,
Rabbi Ehrenberg,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Track 17 is a disturbing and depressing place. This platform, these tracks, confront us Germans head-on with the darkest chapter of our history. 55,000 of Berlin’s Jews – men, women and children – were deported from here. They were stripped of their dignity and then brutally murdered.

Anyone standing here knows that there is no expiry date for Germany’s responsibility for the crimes against humanity of the Shoah. History does not end with a generation.

Never again will death and destruction emanate from Germany. I say this on behalf of the Federal Government and the German people.

Our responsibility means that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in our country. That is especially true of anti-Semitic violence.

We do not tolerate anti-Semitism. Not the loud kind, but also not the silent, insidious kind.

Responsibility also means that, for Germany, the existence and security of the State of Israel are non-negotiable.

We are thankful for the historical opportunity for reconciliation. Today, Germany and Israel are partners and friends.

We want to further intensify this unique partnership. We want young people from our countries to come to know and understand each other.

Because we are aware of the past, we can work together to build a secure, peaceful, prosperous future.

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