The Bundestag commemorated the victims of National Socialism on Tuesday. For the first time since the introduction of Holocaust Remembrance Day, no representative of the Central Council of Jews in Germany participated as a guest in the commemoration ceremony in the Bundestag – a decision by the Central Council. And a wrong decision, criticizes the Jewish historian, journalist and publicist Gunther B. Ginzel on this site. It is true that the "insecurity of Jewish people" is great at the moment. But the one has nothing to do with the other one.
this site: A commemoration ceremony for the victims of National Socialism without representatives of the Central Council – how do they feel when they hear that??
Ginzel: Grief, sadness and also a dash of annoyance. I think this decision is politically, morally and ethically wrong.
this site: Why?
Ginzel: This day is about remembering all the victims of the Third Reich. The focus on the Shoa is very correct and understandable because of nearly six million murdered people. But it is "only a part" of a crime that affected 20 million people. There were thousands of concentration and labor camps. Wherever the Nazis were, there were these camps and a targeted extermination policy, and Nazi racial policies affected many groups – from the Catholic Polish intelligentsia to the Sinti and Roma and homosexuals to Russian army prisoners of war. In my eyes, it is wrong to leave this solidarity of remembrance, which is an obligatory one and points to the future.
this site: Now the general secretary of the Central Council, Kramer, also cites increasing anti-Semitism – and, as he says, "more and more also in the middle of society". How can you tell?
Ginzel: I can understand this statement. The description of the phenomenon is correct, that is to be lamented. There are enormous deficits here that need to be addressed. But one has nothing to do with the other. The insecurity of Jewish people in general and that of the officials is certainly considerable. One is shocked about the closing of ranks between left anarchists, opponents of globalization on the one hand and radical Islamists, neo-Nazis on the other hand, who demonstrated with identical slogans during the Gaza war. It was not about demonstrating for peace and against murder or criticizing Israel. All this would have been legitimate. A pure anti-Israel position was taken, to the extent that many Jews themselves felt attacked. This is painful. It is painful what we are experiencing in the Vatican right now. This disappointed friendship, this disappointed love, this provocation of the Vatican towards Jewish people! It makes one speechless and trapless. One has the feeling, here all bastions collapse and one stands completely alone. And I believe that out of this feeling many a reaction arises, which in cooler blood was perhaps not necessarily the wisest one. Listen to the conversation in full here. Background The presidents of the Central Council, all of whom were Holocaust survivors, were never officially welcomed by the president of the Bundestag, the secretary general of the Central Council, Stephan Kramer, told the epd in Berlin. That is why the presidium has taken other appointments this year on the occasion of Remembrance Day. Read more about the commemoration here.