WJC President Lauder slams AfD for walking out on German Jewish leader during speech commemorating Holocaust

NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder expressed disgust on Wednesday after lawmakers from the far-right Alternative for Germany walked out of the Bavarian Parliament during a speech to commemorate the Holocaust being given by the head of the Jewish Community of Munich, Charlotte Knobloch, who is also the WJC Commissioner for Holocaust Memory and a survivor of the Nazi atrocities herself.
 
“It is absolutely disgusting and pathetic that elected officials from an extremist far-right German party should have the gall to walk out on a Holocaust survivor during a speech commemorating Holocaust memory, simply for being called out for the hateful historical revisionism which has been its hallmark,” Lauder said. 
 
“These AfD legislators have demonstrated yet again their identification with the Nazi ideology responsible for the near destruction of the Jewish people. By walking out on Ms. Charlotte Knobloch’s speech, they have underscored that they do not wish to distance themselves from any rightful claims that they downplay Nazi crimes and that they are contributing to the contemporary rise of antisemitism in Europe,” Lauder said.
 
“I would say that the AfD should be ashamed of itself, but shame is far too sentimental of a word to describe such a hateful movement. This incident only underscores just how much the AfD and its followers need to learn about the Holocaust and the darkest moments of Germany’s past,” he added.
 
“It is my sincere hope that these lawmakers will be ostracized by their peers in parliament for this reprehensible display of antipathy,” Lauder added.

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