Germany’s “love letter” to a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors
I want to thank you for you love letter you have written to me. Thank you with all my heart. It surprises me. It makes me feel embarrassed. It makes me feel ashamed of myself.
I know this has not been your intention. But all the horror I have inflicted upon your grandparents – and thereby upon you as well – and upon your entire people does not become less horrible because it is our past, but it becomes even more horrible because sadly anti-Semitism is still and again our present – more than it seems to you when you fortunately feel my embrace.
And I have learned the wrong lesson from our common history. “Never again war” is the wrong lesson. “Never again lack of freedom” would be the right lesson. Most importantly, however, your love letter makes me feel incredibly good. It gives me comfort and courage – and confidence and hope that I will still learn the right lesson after all.
Now Israel and I have common concerns. Hopefully this will be redemptive for all of us. I can and have to learn a lot from Israel.
Hopefully we will save freedom and gain safety together. Your declaration of your love to me means a lot to me, Orit. Now you are in my heart – in Berlin. I want to be responsive to your pleas. I want to take care of myself. And I want to take care of you. I hope I will accomplish that.May G-d protect and bless you, your family, and Israel.
unofficially represented by Matthias Stöhr
Now, if only Germany had actually written this letter, we would really be able to open a new chapter in our tortured history.
Thank you, Germany (as unofficially represented by Matthias)!