Israeli President Reuven Rivlin departed Monday morning for Poland and Germany to participate in events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
On arrival, he will meet with President Andrzej Duda of Poland, after which the two will give statements to the media.
Following this, Rivlin will take part in the ceremony marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, at Auschwitz. Survivors of the death camp, President Duda of Poland, President Steinmeier of Germany, the President of the World Jewish Congress Ron Lauder and the head of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Dr. Piotr Cywiński will also speak at the ceremony.
In the evening, he will continue to Germany in the aircraft of the President of Germany, his official host for his visit to Berlin.
During his visit, Rivlin will speak before a special sitting of the Bundestag, the German parliament, on Wednesday at a memorial ceremony for the victims of the Nazis. The ceremony will be broadcast live. The President will also hold working meetings with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble and other leaders, and will meet with the leaders of the Jewish community and the World Jewish Congress.
President Rivlin, on departure, said: “The Jewish people is a people that remembers. Remembering is a fundamental building-block in our people’s heritage. It is that which demands of us to stand at Auschwitz, on German soil and in every place, to remember and to remind.”
“The connection between the State of Israel and Poland is one that faces the future, from an unshakeable commitment to remember the facts of the past. I intend to invite the President of Poland to visit Jerusalem, to continue discussions together in a way that can further strengthen our relations and the important areas of cooperation between our two countries.”