German president Wulff departs on Israel trip
German President Christian Wulff left Berlin Saturday for a four-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas, DPA reported.
He took along Annalena Wulff, his 17-year-old daughter, and other German teenagers to emphasize Germany's commitment to teaching its children about the evils of the Holocaust. Making amends is a focus of Germany's special relationship with Israel.
The visit, an official rather a state one, does not include any appearance before Israel's parliament. Five years ago, Wulff's predecessor Horst Koehler made history by speaking in the Knesset main chamber.
Annalena, the child of Wulff's first marriage, lives and goes to school in the provincial city of Osnabrueck. She is making the trip in place of Wulff's second wife, Bettina.
All the teenagers will be with Wulff when he visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Sunday.
The trip concludes Tuesday with a visit to the West Bank Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Wulff was appointed to Germany's mainly ceremonial role of head of state just under six months ago.