After a good hour on that cold January morning all over again. With the President of Parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, at the top of the highest representatives of the country to leave the plenary of the Bundestag, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The chairs on which they sat just in front of the deputies rows, are smoothed out by the ushers, just like the white flowers from the Desk of the stenographer.

a Few minutes later, the Bundestag, will begin with the first item on the regular agenda for this Thursday, 10.35 PM it’s the annual economic report of 2019.

But business as usual is 31. January first is not possible. Not after the speech, the President of the Bundestag, Schäuble has previously held. Especially not after the appearance of Saul Friedländer.

Friedländer, 86, is a Spry gentleman with schlohweißem hair, he has left the chamber on the side of the Federal President. But his speech to echo here for a long time.

23 years Ago, the 27. January, 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp were liberated by Soviet soldiers, have been declared to the German day of remembrance for the victims of national socialism. Since 1996 there is, therefore, in the Bundestag, an appropriate ceremony around this date, this time you invited Saul friedländer as a speaker.

Friedländer was born in 1932 as the son of a Jewish family in Prague. He survived the Holocaust because his meanwhile, after France exiled parents brought him there in a Catholic boarding school under a different identity, the father and the mother were later murdered in Auschwitz. He emigrated to Palestine, fought in 1948 in the Israeli war of independence, studied, and eventually became an eminent historian. Research focus: the history of Nazism, especially the Holocaust.

But on this day, the scientist tries to explain what too soon 74 years after the end of the third Reich is still so incomprehensible to the acts, but the Affected person speaks less. The Survivor.

That Friedländer speaks to this day in German, for which he apologises, although not perfect, at first, makes his narrative even more impressive: The parents, told the peaceful countries, languages, time in Prague, at home almost exclusively in this language, “I had forgotten about for many years, I later – but not in school – back acquired, and which I use only very rarely”. (Click here to read the speech in the text).

“the primary sense of bewilderment

keep and preserve” In his work, friedländer has argued, the “primary feeling of disbelief.” And he transported this Morning to the German Parliament. On the top of the bleachers for more of the Survivors sitting among the guests of honor, but also a lot of students you have invited.

His parents could not imagine that they would be murdered like millions of other Jews by the Germans. Why? “I had a comrade” was the first song he could play on the piano, says Friedländer.

Survivor Friedländer

But that Adolf Hitler, at the latest, from 1939 to the public, and then again and again about his plans for the Jews to wipe out, the friedländer also emphasized. The Affected not want to believe it just often, until it was too late and most Germans wanted and then knew nothing.

back is The longer, what happened at that time, the greater is basically, despite all the research and explanation of the bewilderment attempts. And at the same time, President of the Bundestag, Schäuble referred to previously, with the Holocaust as the German self-understanding.

“No Nation can pick and choose your history or you will strip,” said the CDU politician. “History is the precondition of the present, and dealing with her is the Foundation of the future of any country.” Schäuble emphasized: “the German debt, our responsibility, to do not want to forget.”

Because the but is always severe, the time of the national socialism for the younger German generations, more and more abstract works, are people such as Saul Friedländer’s so important. Because he can tell from the Incomprehensible Affected at least. And because he makes the staggering Numbers, the millions of murdered Jews, homosexuals, Sinti and Roma, prisoners of war and other Nazi victims, tangible.

Gauland listen carefully and

While Friedländer claps, talking, sitting only a few meters away, in the first row of the AfD’s Deputy, Alexander Gauland. The Group’s Chairman, has referred to the “third Reich” as a “bird shit” in German history, the protection of the Constitution, accuses the party in Parts of the relativization of national socialism. Now Gauland is listening to, so it at least looks – very attentive. He applauded the Central Authorities, like most of his colleagues, at the end of the entire group rises.

Before eight days had left at a memorial hour for the victims of national socialism in the Bavarian Parliament, the majority of the AfD group, the chamber, as the President of the Israeli had attacked kultusgemeinde of Munich, Charlotte Knobloch, the AfD, in your speech directly.

Germany as a “bulwark” against nationalism

Friedländer waived on Thursday to such explicit attacks. The effect of his speech, the does not diminish. Particularly poignant is when he describes how death or Survival of the arbitrariness of other products dependent: His parents did not want the car to escape through the Alps, across to Switzerland, with the small Saul, that’s why they left him in the boarding school. As they were caught by Swiss border police in September 1942, it turned out, it tells Friedlander that just this week the Jewish refugees with small children were allowed to stay – his parents were against it back to France

sent The life story of Saul Friedländer is a miracle. A miracle it is that he has not lost Faith in Germany – today the Land of the murderer of his parents for him, “how many people in the world,” even one of the “strong bulwarks” against nationalism, extremism and authoritarianism. His appeal: “We all hope that you have the moral strength to continue to fight for tolerance and inclusiveness, humanity and freedom, in short, for the true democracy.”

Decent people there were from friedländer’s point of view, of course, has always been in Germany. At the end of his speech, he reminds of Hans von Dohnanyi, was executed in April 1945, because he had helped Jews to escape. Why he had done so in the Knowledge of impending death penalty? “It is the compulsion was simply rotating speed of a decent people”, the countries cited him fried.

If one of the countries understands Saul fried correctly, are for him today the decent people in the Majority in Germany. And he wishes that it stays that way.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.