Visiting German President Johannes Rau Wednesday apologized for the Holocaust during which six million Jews perished, saying it is important to teach the younger generation about the past.
"I am asking for forgiveness for what Germans have done, for myself and my generation, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, whose future I would like to see alongside the children of Israel, "Rau said while addressing the Israeli Knesset, the parliament.
Rau, a long-time friend of Israel and elected president last May, said he bowed his head in humility before those murdered in the Holocaust during World War II.
He stressed the need to teach the younger generation about the past, and referred to the building of a Holocaust memorial in Berlin, a cornerstone of which was laid last month, as a sign of a sincere attempt by the German people to remember.
Several Knesset members boycotted the speech in protest against the use of German by Rau, saying the language reminded them of the suffering of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.