Israeli Tourism Minister Shuns Germany Due to Nazi Past

Israel’s tourism minister said he will not make an official visit to Germany due to its Nazi past.

Yariv Levin of the ruling Likud party said Saturday night that the idea of a visit to Germany makes him “uneasy,” Israel Hayom reported Sunday.

Levin missed a major international tourism fair last week in Berlin, where representatives of the Palestinian Authority were present and active.

“I see great importance in the relationship between Israel and Germany,” he said. “Within that context, I have met with German officials more than once here in Israel. However, I do feel uneasy visiting Germany.”

Last month, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, also of Likud, remained behind in Israel when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government ministers made an official visit to Germany, where they held an annual joint government session. It was the sixth such session for the two countries celebrating their cooperation.

“As a son of survivors, I do not travel to Germany,” Katz told Israel Hayom in an interview last month. “My father escaped on a train from Budapest, and my mother was imprisoned in seven concentration camps in Germany and Poland by the time she was 15.

“I maintain the necessary contacts demanded by the responsibilities of my job, but I do not take part in ceremonies and I do not visit.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israeli Tourism Minister Shuns Germany Due to Nazi Past

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close