Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Israelite Religious Community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, at her commemorative speech in the Bundestag
Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Charlotte Knobloch warned of recurring anti-Semitism in Germany.
"Anyone who compares Corona measures with the National Socialist Jewish policy is playing down the anti-Semitic state terror and the Shoah," said the President of the Israelite Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria in the Bundestag.
Addressing the AfD parliamentary group in a targeted manner, Knobloch said: »You will fight for your Germany, and we will continue to fight for our Germany.
I tell you: you lost your fight 76 years ago! "
Knobloch spoke at the memorial hour of the German Bundestag for the victims of National Socialism.
The Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp was liberated by Soviet troops 76 years ago.
Around 1.1 million people were murdered there by the National Socialists.
The Holocaust Remembrance Day introduced in 1996 by the then Federal President Roman Herzog commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz.
The word Shoah is also used in Hebrew, it means "catastrophe".
Anti-Semitism is acceptable again
Today Germany is again "a good homeland connected with hope," said Knobloch, but this homeland must be defended.
"Anti-Semitic incidents are happening again openly and unabashedly, almost every day." Anti-Semitic thinking is socially acceptable again and is also generating voices in politics, warned the 88-year-old.
Knobloch was born in Munich in 1932 shortly before Hitler came to power.
In her speech to the Bundestag she reported on her childhood in Germany under National Socialism and the experience of "being different".
She called the persecution of Jews in Europe a crime against humanity, sealed by "National Socialists, hatred and indifference".
Nonetheless, today they are once again standing in front of the Bundestag as a "proud German"; the Nazis could not have stolen the patriotism and homeland of many Jews.
In addition to Knobloch, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble and the journalist Marina Weisband also spoke in memory of the victims of National Socialism.
Schäuble called for the culture of remembrance of the Shoah to be renewed.
"Our collective responsibility remains," he warned.
Anti-Semitism would again show itself openly and unrestrainedly, in schoolyards, in Internet forums and among conspiracy myths.
"History is present, for the descendants of the survivors and for all other Germans," said Schäuble, "it concerns us all".
The publicist Marina Weisband warned against those right-wing forces who want to end the memory of the Shoah.
There is no such thing as an "alleged line as long as we can't draw one." As a young Jew in Germany, you have to understand that what happened can happen again.
"The Shoah did not begin with gas chambers - but with conspiracy myths," said the 33-year-old.
"We cannot defend against the beginnings because it is a constant process."
In the run-up to the memorial event, the Central Council of Jews in Germany had already called on society to stand up for democracy and its institutions.
In particular, the denigration and instrumentalization of the victims of the Shoah in connection with the corona pandemic must be stopped, said Central Council President Josef Schuster.
"Presumption and disrespect" by Corona deniers
"The Jewish community is horrified and stunned by the behavior of many citizens since the beginning of the corona pandemic, who equate themselves with victims of the Shoah," said Schuster.
"This presumption and disrespect is unbearable for us."
In this context, the chairman of the Central Council recalled the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp 76 years ago.
The Soviet soldiers found there "mountains of corpses and their remains" as well as "few people still alive who were already marked by death."
What the people would have suffered in the Shoah "cannot be compared with anything".
If the yellow so-called »Jewish stars« were worn at Corona demonstrations, this would be equivalent to relativizing the Holocaust and would therefore be incitatory and punishable.
"The police and the judiciary should punish such incidents more consistently," demanded Schuster.
"We also need these signals from the state to strengthen democratic civil society."
Icon: The mirror
mrc / dpa