US Secretary of State and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs vow new ‘culture of remembrance’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on Thursday, on the 83rd anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, pledging a stronger cooperation between their two countries on Holocaust remembrance.

Maas said a new era for the culture of remembrance begins, as soon there won’t be any living survivors and eyewitnesses to pass on their knowledge and experience, therefore new forms of remembrance have to be found. He emphasised that “We owe this to those who were murdered and to the survivors”.

Blinken, the son of American Jewish parents, thanked the survivors present at the event, for having passed on their knowledge and experience about the Holocaust. He said that the agreement between Germany and Washington will help “remind us of all that we can lose — but also to see what we can save — if we choose to stand up instead of just standing by”.

“Our strength lies in shouldering the burden of historical responsibility — no if’s, and’s or but’s. Our strength lies in joining forces in search of the best way forward,” said Maas, referring to the German-US cooperation. He also added that he is “very pleased” to be launching the “German-American dialogue on Holocaust issues at this special place.”

Maas and Blinken also warned about the resurgence of antisemitism and racism in recent years in both of their countries, especially with the antisemitic conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.

 

You can read more about the history of the Night of Broken Glass on dw.com.