Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gave the following statement today (8 April) on the decision by the German cabinet to keep providing financial support for Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial through the Government’s corresponding agreement with the Government of the State of Israel for the period 2022 to 2031:
For more than 10 years, we have been intensively engaged with Yad Vashem in all aspects of the work of remembrance. For us Germans, this is not only a special responsibility, but also an expression of the special relationship between Germany and Israel. I am therefore pleased that we today decided to continue to support the indispensable work of Yad Vashem, in particular that of the Yad Vashem Archives and the Memorial’s digitisation work, with annual contributions of one million euros over the next ten years.
Every story, every name that we ensure is not forgotten turns us into witnesses. Witnesses of what was. And of what must never happen again. In this way, remembrance protects our future.
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that witnesses will soon no longer be able to tell us in person about the horrors of the Shoah. At the same time, antisemitic hatred and violence are again on the rise. It is therefore crucial that we have dynamic centres for exchange and memorials - and that we further develop the work of remembrance, for the present and for the future. In both of these spheres, Yad Vashem is a pioneer and a role model. I therefore think it is not only proper, but also extremely important, for us and our society here in Germany, that we continue to support Yad Vashem as it performs this significant work.
Since 2012, Germany has made a binding legal commitment to provide Yad Vashem with one million euros annually in financial support. An agreement to this effect was concluded on 1 February 2012 between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the State of Israel. The current agreement is set to expire at the end of 2021. The German Government plans to extend the agreement beyond the year 2021, for an additional ten years (2022 to 2031). The German cabinet therefore decided on 8 April to sign a successor agreement to this effect with the Government of Israel.