The Austrian Chancellor helped reveal the role of his country’s railway company in the Holocaust during an exhibition several years ago.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed his gratitude to Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern for strongly and unequivocally condemning Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, during their meeting on Tuesday in Jerusalem.
“You’ve been very forthright about the historical legacy and the historical imperatives that the Holocaust requires of all of us, and I want to thank you for this and express our deep appreciation from the people of Israel to you,” Netanyahu told Kern.
Kern has maintained the tradition among many in Europe’s political establishment to unequivocally voice opposition to Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, and demonstrated his rejection of such views in action.
After spearheading an exhibition demonstrating the role that Austria’s Railway company (BBO) played in the Holocaust, the Vienna Israelite Community awarded Kern the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal in 2013, an honor bestowed to individuals who stand out in combating anti-Semitism.
Kern commented on his decision to reveal the railway’s role in the Holocaust during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Holocaust Remembrance Day, yesterday.
“It is our responsibility to intensify our efforts to make sure the memories stay alive,” he said. “We do this not just to honor the memory of the victims, but I am convinced that we must do this for ourselves and future generations.”
While Rivlin on Monday praised Kern’s record on combating Holocaust denial, the Israeli president condemned French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen for refusing to accept France’s responsibility in rounding up thousands of Jews to be shipped to Nazi concentration camps.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News