German President Visits Israel

The president of Germany, Richard von Weizsacker, arrived here Tuesday for a brief visit whose highlight was a special concert by the Dresden Orchestra, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.

It was the first time a German orchestra has ever performed in Israel, a fact Weizsacker alluded to in his speech to the concert audience Tuesday night.

“Through music, we want to express the desire of united Germany to develop closer and deeper ties with Israel,” the German chief of state said. Proceeds from the concert will help Israel absorb immigrants from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union.

Addressing the audience, which included some of Israel’s most prominent political, cultural and business leaders, President Chaim Herzog praised the German leader’s unflagging personal involvement in the battle against racism and discrimination.

Observing that the 400-year-old Dresden Orchestra, whose conductor is Jewish, is the oldest in the world, Herzog said its presence in Jerusalem “represents the role of Germany today in the field of culture worldwide.”

Von Weizsacker laid a wreath at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and had breakfast Wednesday morning with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir before flying home.

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