Peres to Bundestag: Beware ‘fanatic regime’


(JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres said the Kaddish prayer for the victims of the Holocaust during a speech in the German parliament.

Peres delivered his address in Hebrew at the Bundestag on Wednesday in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Peres’ grandparents were victims of the Holocaust. They were burned to death inside of their synagogue in Vishniev, Belarus, where Peres was born and from where he left to go to Palestine.

"I am proud that we are the arch-enemy of Nazi evil," Peres said. "I am proud of the revival of Israel, the moral and historic answer to the attempt to erase the Jewish people from the face of the earth."

Peres addressed the issue of Iran, which he called "a fanatic regime which contradicts the United Nations charter. A regime which threatens destruction, accompanied by nuclear plants and missiles and who activates terror in its country and in other countries."

Peres called on the parliament to bring to justice Nazi war criminals who are still living throughout the world.

"This is not revenge in our eyes. This is an educational lesson," he said. "This is an hour of grace for the young generation, wherever they may be, that they may remember, and never forget, that they should know what took place, and that they never, absolutely never, have the slightest doubt in their minds that there is another option, other than peace, reconciliation and love."

Peres thanked Germany for helping the fledgling Jewish state with restitution payments and defense equipment and praised the two countries’ "unique ties."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Wednesday afternoon at the main remembrance day ceremony at Auschwitz.

Recommended from JTA