German Foreign Minister: We Must Never Forget Nazi Atrocities

New poll indicates 81 percent of Germans would like to put Holocaust behind them.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
AP

The atrocities of the Nazi regime should never be forgotten, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview published Sunday as a poll indicated 81 percent of Germans would like to put the Holocaust behind them.

"It remains the duty of parents to inform their children that there can never be a line drawn under [our history]," Steinmeier told Sunday's Bild newspaper.

"We can consider ourselves lucky that after the atrocities of the Third Reich, after 70 million dead in the Second World War and 6 million murdered Jews, that we can be accepted back into the international community, even today," he said.

The poll, conducted by the not-for-profit Bertelsmann Foundation about German-Israeli relations, found that 58 per cent would like to see a line drawn under the Nazi past, Bild reported

The findings were published ahead of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, now Oswiecim, in Poland by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. Steinmeier called it "a day of shame for Germany."

Speaking of German-Israeli relations, Steinmeier said: "The bond of trust between Germany and Israel has grown over recent decades. The Germans have learned that the monstrous crimes of the Shoah will always mark relations between our two nations."

Shoah is the Hebrew word for the genocide of the Jews during the Nazi regime.

Steinmeier said he is "grateful that the exchange between Germany and Israel continues to grow."

"Never again can we allow members of the Jewish faith to be endangered in our midst," he said.