Logo: World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants Logo: Child Survivor Deutschland

Welcome at the site of the 2014 Berlin Conference of the
World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust & Descendants



Photo: Pictures from around the Gendarmenmarkt in BerlinWelcome from Speakers

Speaker Introduction
The positive, benevolent welcome speeches on August 24th, 7 pm – 7:30 were a highlight of the conference. Child Survivors from 18 countries came to Berlin with tensions, fears and hopes. All speakers contributed to an excellent start, to a unique feeling of the attendees of being accepted and understood.

Masters of Ceremony:
Max Arpels Lezer / European President of WFJCSH&D (Abbrev. “ML”)
Dr. Philipp Sonntag / German Section CSD Child Survivors Deutschland (Abbrev. “PhS)

  1. ML: Short Introduction
  2. ML for Stefanie Seltzer, President of WFJCSH&D
  3. PhS for Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin
  4. PhS for Dr. Josef Schuster, Vice President of ZdJ, Central Counsel of Jews
  5. ML for Israel Ambassador Hadas-Handelsmann
  6. ML for USA Ambassador Emerson 
  7. PhS for Ambassador Dr. Felix Klein AA (Foreign Office)
  8. ML for Dr. Saathoff, EVZ (download speech)
  9. ML for Andrew Hilkowitz, German Section of Child Survivors (download speech)

Three Introductions by Phil Sonntag

Introduction for Speaker Nr. 2, Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin:
It is my honor to introduce the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit.
It will be our priviledge, to receive an official answer to our uneasy feelings about visiting Berlin, the origin of our bitter fate.
Today, how far is Berlin away from the vicious Nazis? We hope to find a modern spirit.
I promise: with mayor Klaus Wowereit, you will feel the spirit!
(download speech)

Introduction for Speaker Nr. 3, Dr. Josef Schuster
I am happy to introduce Dr. Josef Schuster, Vice President of the “Central Counsel of Jews in Germany” (info addendum: since December 2014 President).
I am happy, because now there is a vivid Jewish life in Germany. Quite a wonder, as we remember the restraints about 60 years ago: “How can a Jew, especially a Survivor ever again live in Germany?”
Well meantime today, “yes he can!”, and I promise, you will see!
(download speech)

Philipp Sonntag (CSD, l.) und Dr. Josef Schuster (ZdJ) (© Uwe Steinert)

Introduction, as prepared for Speaker Nr. 6, Ambassador Dr. Felix Klein, Foreign Office
It is my pleasure to introduce Ambassador Dr. Felix Klein, Foreign Office Germany, and “Special Representative of the Federal Government of Germany for Relations to Jewish Organizations, and for Issues of Anti-Semitism”.
Thus we are in the fortunate position, to receive a message on behalf of the German Government for our most intimate worries. There has been dramatic development over the decades:

  • Starting with the terror of the Nazi-regime, 1933 – 1945
  • It is important to remember that the US developed the atomic bomb with the intention to use it against Berlin, especially against the Nazis, well aware of their evil purposes against Jews and others, and in order to avoid a pure monopoly of Nazi atomic power. That implies, that not only we as Child Survivors were endangered by Nazis, but in response to them every Berliner in 1945 had been designated a victim of the atomic bomb, in response to the Nazi horror.
  • The next basic step was progress toward an armament deal starting 1957 by Ben Gurion and Franz Josef Strauß, and still valid today, including equipment related to nuclear armament in sophisticated details, important while mainly kept secret.
  • 1961 when the wall in Berlin was built, and 1962 during the Cuba crises, the menace of atomic war, especially hitting Berlin/Germany, was imminent. 1963 John Kennedy affirmed: “Ich bin ein Berliner”. Security support of USA for both Israel and Federal Republic of Germany is deeply related over decades.
  • As confirmed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, interests of Israel are of immediate public concern of the Federal Republic of Germany. And cooperation is intense in alls areas of societal relevance.

Thus we hope, that there will be a fine future ahead! The office of Dr. Felix Klein exactly has this purpose, and you will see, Dr. Felix Klein himself does apply the spirit.