Wiesel Calls on German Parliament to Apologize to World Jews By NESHA STARCEVIC Associated Press Writer FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The German parliament should use the 50th anniversary of the capitulation of the Third Reich to formally apologize to Jews worldwide for Nazi crimes, Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel says. He also said he wants former President Carter, "a man with vision," to become U.N. secretary-general. In an essay written for the magazine Die Zeit, the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize laureate says the United Nations has been ineffectual is halting new human tragedies, such as in Bosnia and Rwanda. The Hungarian-born Wiesel was deported with his family to Auschwitz, in Nazi-occupied Poland, where his mother and sister were killed. He and his father were later sent to Buchenwald, where his father died. In the lengthy essay published Tuesday, exactly a half-century after arriving American troop freed a teen-age Wiesel from Buchenwald, he wrote: "I think this 50th anniversary is a good opportunity for the Bundestag to plead in the name of all Germans to all Jews in the world for forgiveness." The Bundestag is the lower house of the German parliament. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. In Poland last September, President Roman Herzog asked Poles to forgive Germany. Though German officials often express shame at what the Nazis did, that apparently was the first time a German official had asked for forgiveness. "It's a very nuanced question. The principle is that only an individual can be guilty of something, while an entire people can be shamed," said Hartwig Bierhoff, spokesman for the German parliament. The Bundestag was shut down for the beginning of the Easter holiday, and there was no further comment. Wiesel criticized some German historians who have tried to put the Holocaust into perspective by comparing it to the terror and killings in Stalin's Gulags, the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia and other horrors. "They would like to show that others also did bad things. And they would like, if possible, to diminish their guilt," Wiesel wrote. "I think that's wrong, but I can understand it." In his essay, Wiesel also mentions the United Nations' failure to stop carnage in Bosnia and Rwanda. "I think, however, that this is more the fault of the person of the general secretary. (Boutros) Boutros-Ghali is part of the problem of the United Nations," Wiesel wrote. "In this position, the world needs today a man with strong vision ...," he wrote. "I think Jimmy Carter should be the next general secretary of the United Nations. I will start a campaign for that."
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