I wish all Jewish people and their families and friends in Germany and around the world a blessed, happy and healthy New Year 5782!
This year, we are joining in celebration of a special anniversary: 1700 years of Jewish life in Germany. Numerous events held here and abroad in recent months have shown us quite vividly how meaningful, diverse and deeply rooted Jewish life is and has been for centuries in our country. The anniversary gives us plenty of opportunity to understand, to reflect and to decide how we want to shape our future. We are delighted that the ShUM sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, historically significant and world-renowned centres of Judaism, were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List this year. This decision underlines how firmly established Jewish life is in Germany, while also encouraging us to rediscover this important part of our history and help young people to engage with it in more depth. I am grateful that so many Jewish people now call Germany their home and are continuing these rich traditions.
But the last year was also a difficult one, as antisemitism reared its ugly head in Germany once again. Disgraceful antisemitic statements during protests against COVID restrictions, and particularly the attacks and violence that we saw in May, highlighted the threats that Jewish people in Germany still face even now. We will not let up in our fight against antisemitism and trivialisation of the Holocaust. We are engaged in a wide range of initiatives and projects in Germany and with the European Union, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Council of Europe to tackle antisemitism, antigypsyism and racism – because these issues concern us all. Together, we want to preserve the cohesion of our open and liberal society.
I would also like to send my best wishes for the New Year to Israel! I am particularly thankful for the deep concern and the generous offers of help which were conveyed to us from Israel after the catastrophic flooding in parts of Germany in July. This goes to show how deeply our unique, close, multi-faceted relations are rooted in our respective societies. We want to continue strengthening these relations in the future.
I wish you all the best for this Rosh Hashanah. Stay healthy and safe and may all your good resolutions and your wishes for the new year come to fruition. Shana tova u’metuka!
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs