Germany on Wednesday said that responsibility for the Holocaust lay with the Germans, after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked controversy before a visit to Berlin by saying a Muslim elder had convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate Jews.

“All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said when asked about Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks.

“This is taught in German schools for good reason, it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own.”

Hours before heading to Berlin, Netanyahu claimed on Wednesday that Adolf Hitler had no intention of killing the Jews, but only wished to expel them. According to Netanyahu, the idea for mass extermination came from the then-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

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