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Merkel: Germans Filled With Shame Over Holocaust


German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the German people are filled with shame over the extermination of six million Jewish people during the Nazi Holocaust.

In an historic address Tuesday to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Ms. Merkel said Germany will always stand by the Jewish state.

She also singled out the Iranian nuclear threat and promised to help prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for wiping Israel off the map.

Israel accuses Iran of actively pursuing nuclear weapons, disputing a U.S. intelligence report that said Tehran suspended such a program in 2003. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

Chancellor Merkel became the first head of government to address the Israeli parliament, an honor normally reserved for heads of state.

At least three Israeli lawmakers threatened to walk out on the speech spoken in German by Ms. Merkel, who is on the last of a three-day visit to Israel.

One of those lawmakers Arye Eldad has said German is the last language his grandparents heard before they were executed during the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.

Other lawmakers dismissed the planned protest.

Germany is one of Israel's strongest political allies and trading partners in Europe.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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