At SWC-German President Confronts the Past, Discusses Iran, Anti-Semitism With Jewish Leaders

Simon Wiesenthal Center
President Steinmeier-first German leader to read the original, signed, 1919 letter by Adolf Hitler where he first articulated the goal to eliminate the Jewish people.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, accompanied by a delegation including ten members of the German Bundestag and German’s Ambassador to the US, met with Jewish leaders at the Simon Wiesenthal Center and toured the Museum of Tolerance.


President Steinmeier is the first German leader to read the original, signed, 1919 letter by Adolf Hitler where he first articulated the goal to eliminate the Jewish people. After viewing the letter, a closed-door meeting was held with the leaders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles Federation, the American Jewish Committee, the Orthodox Union, the ADL, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Jewish Journal.


Among the issues discussed were the recent Quds Day protests, where 1,600 demonstrators called for the obliteration of Israel in the heart of Berlin’s shopping district, displayed an Israeli flag adorned with a swastika and called for boycotts of Israeli products. While thanking Germany for its continuing support of the Jewish state, Center officials pointed to studies that indicate that as many as 40% of Germans compare Israeli policies to the Nazis.

The President was urged to encourage Germany to develop a coherent plan to confront and mitigate the anti-Semitism brought to Germany by over one million migrants from their native Arab and Muslim societies, and was also pressed on the Iranian regime’s continuing threats to Israel and dismal human rights record. President Steinmeier, who was involved in the multilateral negotiations that led to the Iranian nuclear deal, was uncertain of the deal’s fate, now that the US canceled its participation and reimposed sanctions on the regime.



 









President Steinmeier greets Berlin-born Holocaust survivor and Museum of Tolerance speaker, Engelina Billauer during his visit.