Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin during the night of 27 September on the death of Shimon Peres:
It is with deep sadness that I have learnt of the death of Shimon Peres.
The world has lost a great statesman, Israel has lost one of its founding fathers, and Germany has lost a highly-esteemed friend and partner. What he achieved for Israel – the land of the survivors, which he helped to build and for many decades shaped through his words and deeds – can scarcely be measured.
In his determination to link the past to the future, Shimon Peres did much to promote the unique friendship between Israel and Germany. In 1986, he was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit the then-divided city of Berlin. In 2010, he addressed the German Bundestag, saying: “The bridge built across the ravine was built by painful hands and shoulders that were carrying the burden of memory. It rests on strong moral foundations.
”We are humbly grateful that this succeeded, and we deeply respect his life’s work.
With a strong conviction that the course of history can be altered, Shimon Peres fought to overcome confrontation and enmity. He laid the foundation for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, and for a peaceful, shared future of Israel and its neighbours – and he never stopped believing in this aim.
This year, Shimon Peres said he regretted having dreamed too small – and he was quite a dreamer.
We mourn the loss of a man who spoke with courage and wisdom, who constantly motivated us. We shall miss him.