German Bundestag president, Jewish leader to meet


BERLIN (JTA) — Jewish leaders are working with the German government to resolve a "communication problem" that led to a Jewish boycott of the national Holocaust remembrance ceremony.

Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, is scheduled to meet Thursday with the president of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, according to the Berlin Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Lammert said Central Council Secretary General Stephan Kramer has spread misinformation about why the council did not attend the annual ceremony Jan. 27. Kramer responded that there was clearly a communication problem. He said that, despite his best efforts, the Bundestag would not break protocol to greet the head of the Central Council at the ceremony. Thus Knobloch stayed away, Kramer said.

Bundestag spokesperson Christian Hoose told the Tagesspiegel that the Bundestag was informed that Knobloch could not attend because she was traveling to Israel for a meeting of the World Jewish Congress. When a representative for Knobloch was sought, there was no response from the Central Council, Hoose said, adding that only on the Friday before the ceremony did Kramer explain the council’s reluctance to participate.

Kramer had told JTA that the Bundestag should at least welcome Knobloch, who survived the war years in hiding.

"That is a signal to make this event more than mere protocol," he said. "Anything else is not for real."

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