Statement by Albert Wiederspiel
12 November 2023
Dear FILMFEST visitors, dear friends,
as chance would have it, on the last day of Filmfest, the last day of »my« last FILMFEST, the world came to an end in Israel. Jews were brutally murdered and taken hostage. It was not an attack on the state of Israel, but on people like you and me.
I only realised what had happened the following day, after what was for me a fabulous closing party with my colleagues. When I learnt that my colleagues in Haifa had to cancel their festival.
Since then, nothing has been the same. For me anyway.
The ugly face of anti-Semitism is back – also here in Germany, almost 80 years after the end of the Second World War.
Following the atrocious invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian flags could be seen in many places virtually overnight. There were countless proclamations of solidarity and offers of help. And rightly so! All of this has been sorely lacking in recent weeks. Everyone is allowed to have the opinion they want on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. But as a Jew in Germany, I had hoped for more solidarity. Solidarity with the Israelis, but above all with us, the so-called German Jews.
It took me four weeks to compose these lines. Out of sheer bewilderment and because I simply didn’t want to accept what was happening around me.
In the meantime, we have another war in Israel. And once again it is a war on several fronts that will cost lives on all sides. It is UNBEARABLE!
I would like to thank the German politicians who have often found the right words recently. That was and is a great consolation. Sometimes it was the only consolation.
I think of my relatives and friends in Israel. The Jewish and Arab ones. They all deserve a better life.