German Catholic leader deplores ghetto simile

8th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

12 March 2007, Bonn, Germany (dpa) - Cardinal Karl Lehmann, chairman of the Conference of German Catholic Bishops, deplored remarks by bishops who said walls around Palestinian communities reminded them of the Warsaw Jewish ghetto. In a letter to Avner Shalev, the chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memoria in Israel, Lehmann said: "It was definitely not anyone's intention to offend the feelings of Shoa survivors or Jewish people in Israel." He said it was not right to "link contemporary problems or situa

12 March 2007

Bonn, Germany (dpa) - Cardinal Karl Lehmann, chairman of the Conference of German Catholic Bishops, deplored remarks by bishops who said walls around Palestinian communities reminded them of the Warsaw Jewish ghetto.

In a letter to Avner Shalev, the chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memoria in Israel, Lehmann said: "It was definitely not anyone's intention to offend the feelings of Shoa survivors or Jewish people in Israel."

He said it was not right to "link contemporary problems or situations of injustice in any way whatever with the Nazi genocide of the Jews," adding, "I can well understand that the remarks caused annoyance and protest."

Two Catholic bishops in a party that visited Yad Vashem this week had been quoted saying they were shocked to see on the same day images of the ghetto where the Nazis confined Warsaw Jews and the confinement of Palestinians in the West Bank by walls.

Lehmann said, "The German bishops are aware of their historical responsibility. We know that we have to constantly show this anew by being sensitive in our choice of words."

The quoted remarks caused outrage in the Jewish community in Germany and in Israel. Germany's 27 bishops were making a collective pilgrimage to the Holy Land when the remarks were made.

DPA

Subject: German news

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