14:40 GMT +326 April 2019
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    German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (C), escorted by his wife Elke Budenbender (L) and the chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum, Avner Shalev (R), lays a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance, where the names of major death and concentration camps are written, during his visit to Yad Vashem commemorating the six million Jews killed by Nazis during World War II, in Jerusalem on May 7, 2017

    'Evil Face': President Steinmeier Warns Against Anti-Semitism in Germany

    © AFP 2019 / MENAHEM KAHANA
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    German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has issued grim comments regarding a recent protest rally in Berlin after Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Speaking at the Israeli embassy, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier admitted that anti-Semitism has yet to be tackled in Germany and that he was "horrified and ashamed" by the news that protesters in Berlin were burning Israeli flags.

    "It is showing its evil face in many shapes, including public acts with hate-filled slogans, but also in the spreading of prejudice and ethnically-charged politics," he said.

    He lashed out at those burning Israeli flags on German streets, saying that they "do not understand, or do not respect, what it means to be German."

    In this vein, Steinmeier said that historically, Germany was responsible for the Nazi holocaust, and insisted that the onus of this should be felt by each and every German citizen.

    "This responsibility does not recognize caveats for migrant backgrounds and no exceptions for newcomers. It is non-negotiable, for everyone who lives here and wants to live here," he emphasized.

    Commenting on Trump's decision related to Jerusalem, Steinmeier said that "there are good reasons to doubt that the unilateral recognition of Jerusalem would contribute to peace in the Middle East."

    Last Sunday, about 2,500 people staged a demonstration in the Neukolln district of Berlin, protesting US President Donald Trump's decision and burning Israeli flags during the rally.

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere pledged to prevent "such disgraceful insults to the Jews and the state of Israel" in the future, with German Justice Minister Heiko Maas saying that any form of anti-Semitism posed a challenge for the country.

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