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President of Germany’s Bundestag to attend Knesset Holocaust Remembrance Day events

Baerbel Bas accepts invitation from Mickey Levy, after Knesset speaker addressed German parliament on international remembrance day

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, center, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, and Parliament President Baerbel Bas attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, center, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, and Parliament President Baerbel Bas attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The president of Germany’s Bundestag, Baerbel Bas, will attend Knesset events to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day later this week, it was announced on Sunday.

Bas, who is attending at the invitation of Knesset Speaker MK Mickey Levy, will be the first senior German official to attend the Holocaust Remembrance Day events at the Israeli parliament.

“This is another important expression of the special relationship between Israel and Germany and of the historical responsibility for the crimes of the Holocaust that Germany has taken on itself,” Levy said in a statement.

“I have no doubt that this visit will also help strengthen the relationship and parliamentary work between the Knesset and the Bundestag,” he said.

In January, Levy became the first Knesset speaker to address the full German parliament, when he gave an emotional speech to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During his address, Levy recited part of the Kaddish, a traditional Jewish mourner’s prayer, reading from a prayer book used by a teenager at his bar mitzvah on October 22, 1938, shortly before the Kristallnacht pogrom instigated by the Nazis against Germany’s Jews.

“A moment, before the life they were meant to live — shattered in the face of the reality in Germany,” Levy said, unable to contain his emotion as he spoke.

Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher is embraced by Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, next to Bundestag President Baerbel Bas, right, during a ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day held in the German Bundestag in Berlin, January 27, 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

On Thursday, Israel will honor the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

The annual Holocaust Remembrance Day is one of the most solemn days on Israel’s national calendar, with much of the country all but shutting down for two minutes for a siren at 10 a.m. to honor those who suffered under the Nazi killing machine.

The main opening ceremony for the memorial day will be held on Wednesday evening.

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