Israel, Germany tied by remembrance, president Herzog says

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Israel and Germany are tied together by the obligation to remember the Holocaust, Israeli President Isaac Herzog told the German parliament on Tuesday during a three-day visit to the country.

At the start of his speech in the Bundestag, Herzog led a prayer to commemorate the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.

"I bring no forgiveness and no forgetting," he said during a speech that received a standing ovation from German lawmakers.

"Only the dead have the right to forgive. While the living have no right to forget," he said, quoting remarks made 35 years ago by his father Chaim Herzog - then also serving as president - during the first visit by an Israeli head of state to Germany.

The trip this week appears to have smoothed over a relationship ruffled last month when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, at a news conference in Berlin, accused Israel of committing "50 Holocausts".

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who stood next to Abbas at the time, faced criticism for not immediately rebuffing the remarks. read more

After his speech on Tuesday, Herzog took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, just metres away from the Bundestag, together with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. read more

Later on Tuesday, Herzog and Steinmeier will visit the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which Herzog's father helped liberate as a British soldier at the end of World War Two and visited on his historic 1987 trip.

On Monday, Herzog met Scholz before heading to Bavaria where he and Steinmeier commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics attacks by Palestinians militants, in which 11 Israeli athletes and team members were killed. read more

Steinmeier apologised for mistakes made during and after the attacks and asked for forgiveness.

In the run up to the ceremony, Germany said it had agreed with the families of the murdered Israeli athletes on a compensation offer totalling 28 million euros ($28 million). read more

Reporting by Nette Nöstlinger Editing by Rachel More and Peter Graff

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