The European Jewish Congress is at loggerheads with German federal agency Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft (Remembrance, Responsibility and Future).

Founded in 2000, following negotiations entrusted by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to Count Otto Lambsdorff, the Foundation was endowed with a fund of 10 billion Deutsche Mark provided by the State and German companies. It is administered by parliamentarians and ministers, as well as by the representatives of the organizations involved. Its main purpose is to make financial compensation available to those Nazi victims who have not yet been compensated (mostly forced laborers).

Most of this money having been given to the Jewish organizations responsible for distributing it to the legal claimants, the EVZ Foundation is currently engaged in educational activities to prevent the repetition of such atrocities.

In this context, the EVZ Foundation initiated school exchanges with Nazareth residents. And here is where the problem lies: the Foundation organizers established a parallel between the way the Zionist regime treats the Arab-Israeli youth (school discrimination, violence, working conditions) and the behavior of the Nazi regime in its early stages. They noted their observations in a controversial pamphlet.

For the European Jewish Congress and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, this document de-legitimizes the State of Israel, paves the way for a new anti-Semitism and violates the statutes of the Foundation.

This is the first time that a German public institution is involved in a controversy of this nature.