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Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (28 September) on the first anniversary of the death of Shimon Peres:
With the death of Shimon Peres, the world lost a great statesman. Germany mourns the loss of a close friend who worked throughout his life for reconciliation and understanding, thus making him a role model for generations of people.
The fact that unique and wide-ranging relations between Israel and Germany are possible after the crime against humanity of the Shoah and that we now have a large Jewish community in Germany again is a miracle for which I am grateful.
It is vital to preserve this gift, not only here and now, but also at all times in the future. That must be beyond a doubt, especially in times like these. We will give no quarter to xenophobia, anti‑Semitism and marginalisation in Germany.
I was profoundly moved by the speech Shimon Peres gave as President to the German Bundestag in 2010. He wove the strands of the past and the future together in his unique way, primarily focusing on young people.
During his term as Foreign Minister, Federal President Frank‑Walter Steinmeier launched an initiative to establish a Shimon Peres Prize, with the aim of paying tribute to Shimon Peres’ lasting importance for German-Israeli relations and regional and global peace initiatives.
It was important to Foreign Minister Gabriel to continue this initiative. The Foreign Minister will award the first prizes in person on 10 October.
The prize, which is being awarded for the first time this year in cooperation with the German-Israeli Future Forum, pays tribute to young people in Germany and Israel who work to foster the future of our unique relations.