Speeches and Statements

  • 18.01.2017

    "Questions of security have become more urgent"

    Speech of Daniel Botmann, Executive Director of Central Council of Jews in Germany, at the reception during the European Forum on Antisemitism, 16.1.2017

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

    What has been the sad reality in some of our neighbouring countries and since 2001 in the USA, also occured in Germany at the end of last year: an Islamist terrorist attack in our own country. The attack on the Christmas Market at the Gedächtniskirche in the heart of Berlin shocked us all deeply. The solidarity that Germany received from its allies and from friendly states was comforting. Victims of the attack are still fighting their injuries. For an Israeli family the attack meant the death of the mother of two children and very severe injuries for the father.

    Security is therefore the overarching subject in Europe at the beginning of 2017. Both for the Jewish community in Germany, as well as for Europe as a whole, questions of security have become more urgent.

  • 10.09.2015

    ‘We Jews understand the hardship the refugees are going through’

    Op-Ed by Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, and Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, in "Die Welt", september, 10th, 2015

    The contrast between the images could hardly be more stark: On the one hand, we see citizens welcoming exhausted refugees arriving in Germany with true enthusiasm, lending them a helping hand. Whilst on the other hand, we see images of neo-Nazis screaming “Foreigners out!” and throwing Molotov cocktails at building where refugees are housed.

    It is with relief that we note that there are far more people who are welcoming the refugees than there are people who reject them openly. We are witnessing a huge wave of spontaneous civic involvement, and administrative decisions are being taken much more quickly than used to be the case in Germany.

  • 29.07.2015

    Welcoming address of the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, at the opening ceremony of the European Maccabi Games, 28.7.2015, Waldbühne Berlin


    Today a dream comes true!

    70 years after the Shoa, almost 80 years after the 1936 Olympic Games, when Hitler deceived the world exactly on this spot with a perfectly devised propaganda show; when only 40 kilometres from here the KZ Sachsenhausen was built; just a few centuries later, we are standing here!

    Round about 2,000 Jewish sportspeople, hundreds of members of our Jewish communities, hundreds of members of the Maccabi-associations and thousands of friends of the Jewish community.

  • 22.07.2014

    Israel needs to defend itself

    The Hamas is playing a cynical game. It is targeting Western values; why does nobody there realize that? | An op-ed in the Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Dr. Dieter Graumann, President of the Central Council

    Sirens sound the alarm in Cologne! On Saturday the sirens signalled alarm in the Rhine metropolis: piercing, penetrating, frightening. I happened to be there on a visit. A glance in the internet soon made it clear: this was only a regular check of the security systems; a practice alarm. It was over in a quarter of an hour. Everyday life went on as usual in Cologne, with Rhineland cheerfulness despite the bad weather.
    I was standing at the window when the sirens sounded in Cologne and I counted to 15. That is how much time Israeli mothers have, when the sirens sound, to get their toddlers to safety before the blast. Old people have 15 seconds to flee to the safety of the bunkers. A school bus travelling along the road has only 15 seconds to come to a stop and for the children to find safe shelter. When the sirens sound in Israel it is not a practice alarm. It is the bitter reality of everyday life.

  • 10.07.2012

    Why do Jews circumcise their children?

    Dossier of the Central Council of Jews in Germany on the issue of circumcision

    The basis for Jews to circumcise their sons is found in the bible (Genesis 17, 10-14), where it says: "This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised".The circumcision of newborn Jewish boys belongs to the essence of Judaism, it marks the entry into the Jewish community and symbolises the ties between God and Abraham and between God and the Jews ...

  • 25.01.2012

    The Message of January 27

    The world has yet to fully grasp the lessons of the Holocaust – By Dieter Graumann

    It has taken decades for the international community to deal with the Shoah in a really serious way. Perhaps a new generation had first to emerge with sufficient courage to ask about the causes of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe” and to look into the abyss of its inconceivable barbarity ...

  • 18.10.2011

    Letter to the family of Gilad Shalit from Dr. Dieter Graumann

    Dear Noam and Aviva,dear Yoel and Hadas,
    I know that you are receiving a lot of personal letters and many good wishes in these days from all over the world, but I know that in these moments you are just thinking of one thing: The homecoming of your lovely son and brother Gilad - and so do we!
    Still, it was a matter of my very personal concern to write to you these lines ...

  • 07.12.2009

    “Anti-Muslim sentiments”

    Statement by the Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan J. Kramer, on the debate on the minaret ban in Switzerland and a possible “Islamophobia” in Germany

    I do not see the outcome of the referendum as an attack on freedom of religion, nor do I think that it proves the case of those who, on principle, oppose the use of referendums. On the contrary, freedom of opinion is one of the most fundamental rights in a functioning democracy, and t he participation of citizens in political decision-making – be it through elections or referendums – is one of the basic principles of our pluralistic democratic society ...

  • 28.04.2008

    Some thoughts on the debate about NPD ban

    Column of the week for the ddp news agency by Stephan J. Kramer, Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany

    "We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy's own weapons. We become Reichstag deputies in order to paralyze the spirit of Weimer with its own assistance. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free tickets and salaries, that is its problem. It does not concern us. Any way of bringing about the revolution is fine by us," said Hitler's Minister for Propaganda Josef Goebbels nearly 80 years ago ...

  • 02.08.2005

    Verleihung des Heinrich-Albertz-Friedenspreises an Herrn Bundeskanzler Dr. h.c. Gerhard Schröder

    Laudatio des Präsidenten des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland Dr. h.c. Paul Spiegel

    Es gilt das gesprochene Wort! Wer
    eine Auszeichnung wie den Heinrich-Albertz-Friedenspreis der AWO
    erhält, empfindet dies als eine ganz besondere Ehrung. Ich jedoch fühle
    mich von den Verantwortlichen der AWO gleich mehrfach geehrt. So wurde
    meine Freude und Dankbarkeit anlässlich der Überreichung des Preises an
    mich im Juni 2001 noch dadurch gesteigert, dass der damalige
    Bundespräsident Johannes Rau eine außerordentlich persönliche, ja
    freundschaftliche Laudatio hielt ...