We're responsible for Holocaust, not Palestinian mufti - Germany on Netanyahu remarks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 21, 2015. © Fabrizio Bensch
Germany has addressed comments made by Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader accused the World War II Palestinian grand mufti of inspiring the Holocaust. Berlin said it must never be forgotten that responsibility lies with Germany.

"All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said when asked about Netanyahu's Tuesday remarks.

"This is taught in German schools for good reason: it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.

The comments came just one day after Netanyahu referenced a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini in Berlin in 1941, stating that the meeting was instrumental in the Nazi leader's decision to exterminate Jews.

"Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here,'” Netanyahu said during a speech to the Zionist Congress.

His statements sparked a wave of criticism from Palestinians and opposition leaders, as well as from those on social media.

It comes amid increased tensions between Israel and Palestine. Ten Israelis have been killed in a recent wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinians. In that same time period, 46 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.