Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch praises German refugee policy in annual ceremony: Interview with Nana Brink, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Gedenkstunde des Deutschen Bundestages zum Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Bundestagspräsident Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, CDU/CSU, hält die Begrüßungsansprache, Dr. h. c. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, hält die Gedenkrede. Musikalisch wird die Gedenkstunde von Prof. Raphael Wallfisch, Violoncello, Prof. John York, Piano, Judith Stapf, Violine, und Kärt Ruubel, Piano, umrahmt. An der Gedenkstunde nehmen die Verfassungsorgane teil.


This Wednesday, the Bundestag remembered the victims of National Socialism in a special ceremony that has been held annually since 1996 – this year, for the first time with members of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) present in the Bundestag.

92-year-old Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a Holocaust survivor, addressed the members of the Bundestag as well as Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble and Chancellor Angela Merkel with reflections on Germany’s dark past, as well as praise for the country’s recent refugee policy.

Nana Brink, host and journalist for Deutschlandfunk Kultur, found Lasker-Wallfisch’s position quite remarkable in light of the historical and contemporary contexts her words touched upon: “When I say remarkable, I will point out that her speech did not reflect any blaming…she pointed out that, in her times, borders were sealed off for the Jews, whereas in 2015, Germany was willing to generously open its borders to take in the war victims,” adding that young Germans shouldn’t feel guilty, but indeed bear “the responsibility of remembering [Germany’s] darkest chapter.”

Photo © Deutscher Bundestag / Achim Melde.