The Contemporary Church and Antisemitism Today

During the conference © Martin Warnecke/IIRF

Even though the holocaust had started already, on January 20, 1942 a group of very high ranking bureaucrats of a section through all governing bodies of Germany planed, how to finish off the extinction of the rest of the once 11 million Jews in Europe. As they met in a Nazi villa on the Wannsee in Berlin, the “Wannsee Conference” has become an equivalent to „holocaust” and is a very visible proof, that killing ALL the Jewish in Europe was planed with German efficiency, as a copy of the long original protocol serviced the Third Reich.

A conference by State actors like the EU Commission and the German federal government together with Christians and Jews remembering the Wannsee conference in the villa itself and at the seat of the Protestant Church in Germany in Berlin, brought together major actors combating antisemitism. The whole conference of seven hours is available on Youtube.

Beside the Secretary General of World Evangelical Alliance, who was accompanied by Dr Arto Hämäläinen from Finland, Chair of the Pentecostal Religious Liberties Commission, were Archbishop Welby from Canterbury, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow and President of the Conference of European Rabbis, MP Katrin Göring-Eckhardt, Vice President of the German Bundestag; Katharina von Schnurbein, EU Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life and Dr Felix Klein, The Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism (see full list below).

The event led to a declaration read allowed in the Villa of the Wannsee Conference “Fight Antisemitism, Protect Jewish Life”.

Program and speakers

9.15 “Jewish Christian relations – past, present and future.”

  • Katharina von Kellenbach – Evangelische Kirche Deutschlands;
  • Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt – Chief Rabbi of Moscow, President of the Conference of European Rabbis;
  • Archbishop Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher – Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance;
  • Justin Welby – Archbishop of Canterbury;

11.15

  • Rev. Johnnie Moore – President, The Congress of Christian Leaders;
  • Dr. Gregory Lafitte – Forum for Cultural Diplomacy;
  • Rabbi Abraham Cooper – Associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center;
  • Dr. Christian Staffa – Evangelische Kirche Deutschlands;

14.00 “What is antisemitism? Can it be defined and can it be defeated?”

  • Katharina von Schnurbein – EU Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life;
  • Dr Felix Klein – The Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish life in Germany  and the Fight against Antisemitism

16.00 “What can we do different in 2022?” Presentation of “Churches Against Antisemitism”.

17.00 Closing remarks

  • Menachem Rosensaft – General Counsel at World Jewish Congress, Founding chairman of the International Network of Children of Jewish Survivors

19.00 Special ceremony of the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in the Französischer Dom in Berlin. Classical music by the Diplomatic String Quartet Berlin featuring music composed in concentration camps.

  • Dr Felix Klein – The Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism;
  • Bishop Dr Christian Stäblein – Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia;
  • MP Katrin Göring-Eckhardt – Vice President of the German Bundestag;
  • Prayer: Archbishop Dr Thomas Schirrmacher – Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance

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