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Rosenne: Israel and Germany Have ‘normal Relations’ but Jews Have Not Forgotten Horrors of the Holoc

April 19, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Meir Rosenne, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, declared here last night that although Israel and Germany have “normal relations” and diplomatic ties, the Jewish people have not forgotten the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Accepting reparations (from Germany) and establishing diplomatic ties does not mean rehabilitation,” Rosenne, a Holocaust survivor, told more than 400 people who gathered at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for a Holocaust memorial evening. “We have a long memory and we will always remember the Holocaust,” he said.

Rosenne, who appeared in the Dialogue Forum Series, was interviewed by Rabbi William Berkowitz, founder and moderator of the program.

Rosenne refused to answer any questions regarding President Reagan’s planned visit to the Bitburg cemetery in West Germany where SS Nazi troopers are buried. “As a representative of Israel you don’t expect me to talk on this issue,” he told the audience.

But the Israeli envoy was prompt in warning against the resurgence of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism around the world. He charged the Arabs at the United Nations and the Soviet Union official policy with being the prime instigators of the new anti-Semitism. He noted that the Soviet Union was the first country in the world, back in 1964, which demanded that the UN pass a resolution condemning Zionism. Eleven years later, in 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism. Rosenne said that the Jewish people should also be criticized for not fighting enough the anti-Semitic manifestations of the Soviet Union when they began in 1964. He said that the Zionism-equals racism resolution is now a part of elementary school text books in many Third World countries and that young students are therefore exposed to anti-Semitic hatred.

Rosenne, who lit six candles in memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, recalled that as a young child in Rumania, where he was born, he had to wear the Yellow Star in 1941. but he said, that his father told him to wear it “with pride.” He said that as a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust he is committed to pass on the legacy of those “proud Jews who died with the name of Jerusalem on their lips.”

He said that the State of Israel, the children of Israel and the children of the survivors, “are the best answer to those who want to destroy us.”

The program concluded with dramatic readings and music on Holocaust themes.

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