The German foreign affairs minister has withdrawn its proposal to award Israeli Holocaust historian Gideon Greif with Germany’s Order of Merit after Greif received criticism over a report that denied the Srebrenica genocide.
“The Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs has withdrawn his proposal to award Professor Greif the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany,” a letter published by Bosnian media said.
“This decision does not diminish the merits that Professor Greif gained in researching the Holocaust and German Jews who emigrated to Israel,” the letter added.
Germany had announced earlier this year the plan to award Greif for his contributions to Holocaust research, which focuses on the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
However, a wave of criticism followed, as Greif published a controversial report in July concluding that a genocide did not happen in Srebrenica, Bosnia, and Herzegovina in July 1995, contradicting rulings by international courts.
Menachem Rosensaft, General Counsel of the World Jewish Congress, publicly denounced Greif’s work, saying he was “appalled by the report’s shameless manipulation of the truth.”
The Institute for Research of Genocide Canada (IGC) called Germany’s decision “another big victory for truth and justice”.
Meanwhile, Greif said he was informed earlier that he would probably not be receiving the award.
“The fact that I am Jewish and an Israeli scholar is a reason for such violent, vicious personal attacks,” Greif said.
“It’s a black stain on Germany. They are murdering the Holocaust victims for a second time,” Greif added.
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