BERLIN, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC mourns the passing of Philipp Missfelder, a leading member of Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, and a strong advocate for transatlantic relations and German-Israeli relations. He was 35 years old.
"Philipp Missfelder was a dear friend of the U.S., of Israel and of the Jewish people," said Deidre Berger, Director of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations. "His untimely death is a great loss for the Christian Democratic Union, for the German Parliament, for the community of democratic values, and for AJC, which had a very close working relationship with him."
Missfelder was the foreign policy spokesperson for his party in the German Parliament since 2009. He spoke out frequently and courageously on the threat of Iran's nuclear program, on the binding character of the German-Israeli relationship, and on the centrality of the transatlantic partnership for global security. He was a committed Europeanist.
"We first met Philipp about 15 years ago, shortly after the opening of our Berlin office," said Berger. "He was a student at the time, researching issues of anti-Semitism, while leading the youth wing of the Christian Democratic Union. He made a point of visiting us and offering his help and cooperation, a pledge he never tired of honoring."
"Philipp had a remarkable commitment to the Jewish people and to the importance of younger Germans strengthening German-Jewish ties," Berger added. "If he felt that Israel's security interests were threatened, if he sensed anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism on the political agenda, he never hesitated to speak out, wherever he was, whenever he could."
Missfelder addressed the 2014 AJC Global Forum in Washington, D.C., on Germany's role on the world stage. He regularly visited AJC Berlin and AJC headquarters in New York, speaking on anti-Semitism, Iran's nuclear program, terrorism and challenges to democracy.
"Philipp's engagement was a welcome demonstration of the continuity of German-Jewish relations. May his memory be an inspiration for others in his generation and beyond," said Berger.
AJC Berlin was established in 1998 in Berlin as the first office of a major American Jewish organization. AJC Berlin's Ramer Institute combats anti-Semitism, promotes Israeli security, addresses the Iranian nuclear threat, and promotes human rights and mutual understanding.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee