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Merkel tells Netanyahu: Germany was responsible for the Holocaust

The Israeli leader stirred controversy by claiming a Palestinian leader gave Hitler the idea of exterminating Jews.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Image: Associated Press

Updated at 8.37am

GERMANY HAS STRESSED its inherent responsibility for the Holocaust, after Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu stirred controversy by claiming that a Palestinian leader gave Hitler the idea of exterminating Jews.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosted Netanyahu for talks yesterday, stressed:

“Germany abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust.”

“We don’t see any reason to change our view of history.”

In a speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu suggested that Adolf Hitler was not planning to exterminate the Jews until he met Palestinian nationalist Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1941.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time. He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress.

“And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said: ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said: ‘Burn them.’”

Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler Hitler pictured with Grand Mufti in 1941 Source: Bundesarchiv/Wikicommons

But Netanyahu yesterday backtracked on the claim, denying that he was exonerating Hitler of the responsibility for the Holocaust.

Standing next to Merkel, he said the “responsibility of Hitler and the Nazis for the extermination of 6 million Jews is clear to fair minded people”.

At the same time, he insisted that the Grand Mufti’s role should not be forgotten.

“He told the Nazis to prevent the fleeing of Jews from Europe and he supported the final solution,” insisted Netanyahu.

“The real question should be directed not at me but at president Abbas: why is he and the Palestinian authority glorifying the official mufti of Jerusalem as a Palestinian icon?

“They call him the father of the Palestinian nation, this is a war criminal who was sought for war crimes,” said the Israeli leader.

- © AFP, 2015

Read: A Hitler mockumentary has touched a nerve in Germany

Also: Tila Tequlia has been kicked out of Celebrity Big Brother for ‘sympathising with Hitler’

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