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A German lawmaker decried conditions for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at a Berlin forum on the world’s failure to rescue Jews from the Nazis.

Last week’s two-day forum “Fortress Europe: 70 Years after Evian — Human Rights and Protection of Refugees” focused on a July 1938 conference convened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt depicting the plight of German and Austrian Jews and the world’s unwillingness to help them.

Herta Daubler-Gmelin, the head of the Bundestag’s committee for human rights and humanitarian aid — a co-sponsor of the “Fortress Europe” forum — in a statement on Europe’s treatment of refugees today deplored the situation for Gazans. Speaking to some 200 participants, Daubler-Gmelin said it was “terrible to see how 1.3 million people are treated as hostages” to Israeli and Palestinian policies. She also condemned the United States for failing to accept enough refugees from Iraq. Along with the Bundestag committee, the forum was co-organized by the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at the Technical University in Berlin and the Pro-Asyl organization for refugees. Highlights also included recollections from two Jewish former refugees, Irene Katzenstein-Schmied of New York and Gideon Behrendt of Israel, and testimony from several young African and Arab refugees to Germany urging policy changes.

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