Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Germany: Organizers of Kristallnacht memorial sought to ban Israeli flag

Via Jerusalem Post:
Organizers from the “Walk of Remembrance” to commemorate the persecution of Jews in the northern German city of Oldenburg attempted on Thursday to ban the Israeli flag from the ceremony.

“I wanted to participate in the march with my Israeli flag as a sign of solidarity with Israel – the state of survivors of the Holocaust. No sooner that I rolled out the flag, a teacher came to me and demanded that I roll back the flag,” Rolf Woltersdorf, a member of the German- Israel Friendship Society (DIG) in Oldenburg, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

The Holocaust remembrance event is a yearly memorial march in remembrance of the deportation of Oldenburg Jews to concentration camps and the destruction of the synagogue in 1938. Pupils from local schools contribute to the content of the event.

Woltersdorf said one organizer “wanted to remove me with physical violence” because of his Israeli flag. He added that some of the marchers supported his solidarity with Israel.

Woltersdorf said as he continued to march, an active member of the DIG urged him to remove the flag.

Cordula Behrens, an educator with the society, draped herself in an Israeli flag. A teacher confronted Behrens and said the flag has nothing to do with the memory of dead Jews.

Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter and the head of its Jerusalem office, told the Post on Thursday: “This is part of a new trend to use the Holocaust to besmirch and delegitimize Israel. The only good Jew is a dead Jew for these people. It is a very dangerous thing because they are ostensibly trying to remember the Holocaust but these are distorted lessons of the Holocaust. It is the ultimate insult.”

Manfred Klöpper, the former head of the German trade union association in the city of Wilhelmshaven and a member of the Left Party, confronted Woltersdorf and Behrens, asking why on this commemoration day the “national symbol” from Israel is displayed. Woltersdorf told Klöpper the Oldenburg Rabbi Alina Treiger is praying right now for the “nation of Israel.” Klöpper responded: “That does not interest me at all.”
Klöpper told the Post on Tuesday: “I asked why the flag was displayed.” When asked if the Israeli flag should be shown, he said “yes.”

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