Prince of Monaco: We will never harm the Jews

Prince Albert II of Monaco asks forgiveness for turning 90 Jews over to the Nazis, says Jews are an important part of his kingdom.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Conference of European Rabbis
Conference of European Rabbis
Eli Itkin

A delegation of rabbis from the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) met with Monaco's Prince Albert II in the Prince's Monte Carlo palace.

The delegation included CER President and Chief Rabbi of Moscow Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmid and, Steering Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis members UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, French Chief Rabbi Haïm Korsia, and Monaco's Rabbi Daniel Torgmant.

"Jews are an important part of our kingdom, and I am happy you chose to gather here in our country," Prince Albert II said. "Welcome to Monaco. We will never harm the Jews."

He also mentioned and apologized for the fact that Monaco handed 90 Jews over to the Nazis during World War II. When he became Prince twelve years ago, he added, he wanted to fix the injustice and therefore created a fund to provide compensation to Holocaust victims living in Monaco. Six years ago, he created a committee to examine Monaco's actions during World War II.

"I consider the fact that you are gathered here with me today the greatest honor of my life," he said.

Rabbi Goldschmidt noted that while they were meeting with Prince Albert, the other visiting CER rabbis were holding a memorial ceremony "near the memorial wall Prince Albert built two years ago in the Jewish cemetery, and upon which the names of Monaco's 90 Holocaust victims are engraved."

During their gathering, the rabbis discussed the Western Wall compromise controversy, deciding to support the Israeli government and Chief Rabbinate. They concluded their conference by dedicating a new mikvah (ritual bath) in Monaco's community building.