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Lees hier de tekst van de toespraak die Z.E. dhr. Martin Kotthaus, Ambassadeur van de Bondsrepubliek Duitsland bij het Koninkrijk België, tijdens de wake naar aanleiding van de aanslag in Halle op 9 Oktober in de Duitse Ambassade in Brussel gehouden heeft.
Welcome, bienvenue, Willkommen, welkom, Shalom!
I am thankful that the European Union of Jewish Students took the initiative for us all to unite here today at the embassy in order to make clear that we stand united against terror, antisemitism, racism, hatred and aggression.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on the day of the attack on the synagogue in Halle: “Today is a day of shame and disgrace. The fact that in this country of ours – with our history – an attack was perpetrated on a crowded Jewish synagogue – on the holiest day of the Jewish year – deeply shocks and disgusts us all. Yet simply denouncing such a cowardly attack is not enough. We must make very clear that the state assumes responsibility for Jewish life, for the safety of Jewish life in Germany.”
Germany is blessed to see a resurgence of Jewish life after the Holocaust. Germany is fortunate that Jewish life came back, that Jewish men, women and children again feel at home in Germany. Today we see a vibrant Jewish community in Germany for which we are thankful. We need to make sure that everything is in place to keep it that way. And not only these days; no, we must permanently take a stand against the kind of violent acts that took place in Halle. We must protect Jewish life. Always.
The President also said: “We must be equally clear that society – in its entirety – needs to show determination. It must stand clearly and decisively in solidarity with our fellow Jewish citizens. This solidarity must be put on display, as the men and women of Halle already did in the last days” - And as we are doing here today. Also, this solidarity should be on display not only on days like this, or after events like the one that just occurred.
We have to stand up to even the slightest understanding for right wing extremism and racial hatred, hatred and acts on that hatred, to justifications of political violence, politically motivated violence against those of different creeds and with other beliefs, or against representatives of democratic institutions. The past is a warning, and the present is a call for action. I am glad that you all came here today.
In Halle, two people died. Two others were injured. Our thoughts are with, and our sympathy goes out to them and the victims’ families.
We must show determination. What we should not do is to withdraw ourselves from the public eye, to retreat into the perceived security of our homes and offices. Then the aggressor would have won. Then civil society would be governed by fear. No, to the contrary: Like today, we must stand shoulder to shoulder; with our families, with our fellow citizens, with our neighbours, friends and with people of all creeds. We must safeguard our liberties and our liberal societies. That’s who we are. What is more, those who until now have remained silent must speak their minds. Always!
Once again: Thank you for being with us here today.