German Military Officers Visit Israel with AJC
A group of German military officers this month visited Israel with AJC. The program is part of AJC’s ongoing partnership with the German armed forces (Bundeswehr).
“It was without reservation an interesting, illuminating and very informative visit,” said Oberst Karl Trautvetter, Head of International Cooperation at the Armed Forces’ Center for Leadership Development and Civic Education in Strausberg, who led the German delegation. “It is imperative that the extraordinarily successful cooperation of the Bundeswehr with AJC continues.”
The German officers, who serve as educators at leadership academies, visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, an Israeli community near Gaza and the Golan Heights. They learned about Israel’s strategic concerns, the make-up of Israeli society, and the impact of the Holocaust.
“Visiting Yad Vashem in uniform was a deeply meaningful experience both for them as German military personnel and for us as Jewish friends of today's Germany,” said Ed Rettig, director of AJC’s Jerusalem Office.
It was the second AJC-Bundeswehr visit to Israel since a 2009 agreement to foster understanding of modern-day Jewish life was signed by then-German Defense Minister Karl-Theodore zu Guttenberg and AJC Executive Director David Harris.
“The long-time cooperation between AJC and the German Armed Forces, including seminars on site in Israel, helps amplify the understanding of common security threats,” said Lena Altman of AJC Berlin, who accompanied the delegation.
AJC and the Bundeswehr established a cooperative partnership in 1994 that has evolved into a model relationship of ongoing education and dialogue, and of cooperation in humanitarian projects.