Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at Yad Vashem on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Sholz was in Israel for his first official visit since taking office in December.
The two began their visit to the Holocaust History Museum with a tour conducted by Yad Vashem Senior Historian Dr. David Silberklang, proceeded to the Hall of Remembrance and then attended an official memorial ceremony.
At a press conference after the tour, Bennett welcomed Scholz to Jerusalem, saying that in addition to being the chancellor’s first stop in Israel, it was also the most important.
“The Holocaust, the systematic extermination of the Jews, is the wound that stands at the foundation of the connection between Germany and Israel. From this wound we have built a strong and meaningful relationship,” said Bennett.
“Mr. Chancellor, even today, 80 years after the war, there is no Jew who does not carry within him the memory of his six million brothers and sisters, men, women and children, who perished in the camps. Even today, in a strong and prosperous country, a country of warmth and joy, within each of us—even a few generations later—there is a deep sadness that has not disappeared,” he added.
The prime minister concluded his remarks by thanking Scholz for his visit, and for his “commitment to the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish people.”
The German chancellor wrote in the Yad Vashem guest book that “The crime against humanity that was the Shoah gave the world a glimpse into the abyss. The mass murder of the Jews was instigated by Germany. It was planned and carried out by Germans. Consequently, every German government bears permanent responsibility for the security of the State of Israel and the protection of Jewish life. Never will we forget the suffering of millions and the victims.”