ICCJ Mourns Death of its Honorary President, Richard von Weizsäcker

The International Council of Christians and Jews joins in mourning the death, on 31st January 2015, of Richard von Weizsäcker, former President of Germany and since many years one of the ICCJ’s Honorary Presidents.

We remember with gratitude President von Weizsäcker’s many years of service, and particularly his attentiveness to the history of Jews in Germany, and to their place in the modern German state. In his famous speech, hold at the German Parliament in Bonn, 08.05.1985, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe he declared: “Hardly any country has in its history always remained free from blame for war or violence. The genocide of the Jews, however, is unparalleled in history.”

We remember his historic 1990 visit to Poland, as the President of what was then West Germany, and the friendships he fostered between contemporary Germans and Jews, whom he referred to as “liebe Jüdische Mitbürger” (“my dear Jewish fellow-citizens”). In 1994, his decision to attend the premiere of the film “Schindler’s List” in Frankfurt, together with the Israeli ambassador, made a powerful statement about the post-war transformation that had taken place in the relationship between Germany and the Jewish community. We recall his work on behalf of human rights, in Germany, throughout Europe and around the world, which continued for many years after he left political office. And we are deeply grateful for his support for the work of the ICCJ, both in Germany and abroad.

We honour Richard von Weizsäcker’s memory, express our thanks for the important work he accomplished, and express our sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and friends—most particularly to his widow Marianne and their surviving children.


(Picture on teaser column: Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker, Köln 2009;
Owner: A. Savin, licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia commons)