Holocaust Fills Us with Shame, Merkel Tells Israeli Parliament; Chancellor: Angela Merkel
Byline: Matthew Kalman
ANGELA MERKEL yesterday became the first German chancellor to addressthe Israeli parliament in German, triggering protests from the families ofHolocaust victims.
Five legislators in the 120-member Knesset stayed away in protest, saying theydid not want to hear German spoken.
I cant bear the thought of hearing German in the Knesset, said Arieh Eldad, aright-wing MP who had boycotted the session. This is the language mygrandparents were murdered in.
But those who heard Chancellor Merkel open and close her speech in Hebrewapplauded her.
To speak to you in this honourable assembly is a great honour for me, MrsMerkel said in Hebrew.
I thank you all that I am allowed to speak to you in my mother tongue today,she continued in German.
The Shoah fills us Germans with shame, she said, using the Hebrew word for theHolocaust in which six million Jews were killed. I bow to the victims. I bow toall those who helped the survivors.
Mrs Merkel, 53, the first German chancellor born after World War II and thefirst to be invited to speak to Israels parliament, was ending a highlysymbolic three-day visit to mark the coun-try's 60th anniversary year. …