The Jewish Community in Germany: Living with Recognition, Anti-Semitism and Symbolic Roles

, October 29, 2009

This article deals with the diverse images of Jews in Germany: which roles they take upon themselves and which symbolic roles German society sees in the Jewish community. The author tries to unfold the origins and the meaning of these roles including Jews as victims, as sensors toward anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism. The symbolic roles of Jews in Germany cannot be compared to those in other countries, as in Germany the real presence of Jews is publicly very important as “proof” that the country has developed into a democracy and a diverse, open society. Nevertheless Jews are also taken as responsible for Israel’s policies and as such are targets for condemnation. Therefore, the roles which are put upon the Jewish communities and citizens are exchangeable depending on what German society needs and wants to see in the Jews.

Unified Germany has a population of 82.2 million. The percentage of Jews is estimated as between 0.13% and 0.2%. Nevertheless, many among the non-Jewish German population often mistakenly estimate that there are one million or more Jewish citizens. German society overestimates not only the so-called “Jewish influence” on politics, commemoration, and media, but also assigns the Jewish community the role of victims, sensors for Neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism, as well as that of the representative of Israeli politics.

The symbolic roles of the Jews in Germany cannot be compared to those in other countries. In Germany, the real presence of Jews is publicly very important as “proof” that the country is a democracy and that its society is diverse and open. If Jews were to leave the country in great numbers, today’s Germany, politicians and representative groups of civil society, would certainly make an effort to keep the Jews in the country because, without them, the idea of having found reconciliation with the past would shatter.

Introduction

Demography

When discussing the size of the German-Jewish population, various statistics must be considered. The most recent statistics collected by the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Central Council) from 23 regional associations and 104 communities in 2007 report 107,330 individuals.[1] Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Munich have the largest Jewish communities. Jews who are not affiliated with these organized communities number about 90,000. This includes people who may not be Jewish according to halacha. Around 5,000 Jews are members of the Union of Progressive Jews; some of these communities are also linked to the Central Council.[2]

About 101,000 members of the communities affiliated with the Central Council are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, mainly from the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Russia. The overwhelming majority of all Jews living in Germany today have not been living there longer than 20-25 years.

For the most part, the post-war Jewish communities did not originate in Germany. Few German Jews returned to their former homeland after the Holocaust, whereas many Jews who originated in Eastern Europe found themselves in Germany as Displaced Persons (DPs), stranded or in DP camps. Out of these 250,000 to 300,000 people, only about 15,000 decided to stay in Germany. Amongst those who did remain in Germany, for the most part this was not by choice, but rather for pragmatic or tragic reasons – for example they could not obtain a visa for the U.S. or another country; they were gravely ill; or they had serious doubts about their strength to start anew time and again. The post-Holocaust Jewish communities in Germany are more or less rooted in the surviving Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe.

A large proportion of today’s immigrants from the former Soviet Union are relatively young and well-educated, although their education often did not include Jewish tradition. Most of their children attend classes on Jewish religion and tradition, participate in community life, and engage in Zionist organizations. The presence of the Jewish immigrants has rejuvenated Jewish life in Germany greatly, as the aging Jewish communities in the 1980s were destined to vanish gradually. In many communities more than 70-80 % of the Jewish community are native Russian-speakers.

Today, Germany has the third largest Jewish population in Western Europe, after France and the UK. In addition, one of the largest Israeli-Jewish communities outside Israel lives temporarily in Germany – mainly in Berlin, which attracts students, artists, musicians, and writers.

Identities

Robert Weltsch – editor of the Zionistic newspaper Juedische Rundschau (Jewish Review) who emigrated to Prague and in 1938 arrived in Palestine – declared in 1946 that “this vestige of Jewish settlement in Germany should be dispersed as quickly as possible. Germany is no soil for Jews.” During the 1950s, and up to the beginning of the 1980s, major international Jewish organizations and the State of Israel generally regarded the Jewish presence in Germany as a temporary, intermediary phenomenon. Although it took decades to acknowledge the presence of Jews on German soil, in the early 1980s it was clear that the Jewish community was there to stay, even if the numbers were declining due to the nature of the aging community and low birth rates.

This very special Jewish community, which had always claimed to be “sitting on packed suitcases,” was clearly not leaving and showed renewed self-esteem – by building new synagogues, community centers, and Jewish museums. The first Jewish museum was established in Frankfurt am Main in 1988, followed by others in smaller cities such as Dorsten and Fürth and larger cities including Augsburg, Berlin, and others. These museums have a two-fold purpose: to acquaint non-Jewish visitors with the long and rich history of Jews in the country and to build up Jewish self-confidence regarding this tradition. The latter challenge is less easy to accomplish, due to the nature of Jewish demography.

Only a small minority of the Jewish community are able to connect themselves directly to German-Jewish history. Out of the 560,000 Jews who lived in Germany in 1933, approximately 300,000 emigrated and about 200,000 were murdered during the Holocaust. Around 12,000 Jews survived in Germany – most of them because they were married to a non-Jewish partner and/or were hidden. Many of these left the country after the liberation. Approximately 11,000 Jews returned from exile – some of these later left once again.

During the decades of being marginalized by world Jewish representatives, Israel, and other Diaspora communities, the Jews in Germany built up a special alliance with German authorities. Jewish leaders saw themselves as mediators in all matters relating to German-Israeli relations, inquiries on Neo-Nazism and Holocaust commemoration. At the same time, some Jewish communists in the German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) achieved important positions in political and intellectual life

What can be learned in the many Jewish museums about the multifaceted, often intertwined, often brutally separate, pre-war German-Jewish history is that there was a pattern for integration, acculturation, and even assimilation. One also sees evidence of a torn illusion, as Prof.  David Bankier underlines:

“This was a love affair that only one partner was interested in and believed in. I don’t think that the German partner in this German-Jewish symbiosis believed that there was such a union; he was definitely not interested in such a symbiosis. This was a delusion of the German Jews.[3]”

A direct link to German-Jewish history was, and is, mainly possible for those who are descendants of German Jews, such as Prof. Julius H. Schoeps of Potsdam University, who identifies himself “by means of origin, education and conditioning as a citizen of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, who inherited a Jewish identity and who, by being influenced by a protestant milieu, feels and thinks German.”[4] The DP-generation and their children were able to adjust to Germany, but for many uncertain, uncomfortable feelings remained.

After the Holocaust, Jewish representatives of German origin took over the function of representing the Jewish community when dealing with the German authorities and public. This happened almost until the end of the 1980s, although the Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe were the majority of the community. The obvious change came when Heinz Galinski, head of the Central Council, died in 1992 and Ignatz Bubis was elected to the position. Bubis, despite the fact that he was born in Breslau – which was at the time part of Germany – was clearly rooted in the Eastern European Ashkenazi world. He started to open up the Jewish communities toward inner-Jewish pluralism, to liberal and progressive Jewish groups, and to deepen relations with the non-Jewish surroundings.

The era of Bubis, who died in 1999, was a clear signal to the outer world as well as the inner-Jewish discourse that pluralism shall be heard and expressed; that Jews in Germany must not speak with only one voice, but as a pluralistic group with various backgrounds, identities, and opinions. This pluralism is the best proof that Jews in Germany today form a vibrant and growing community – and that they have developed self-esteem in their dealings with the non-Jewish majority.

As German-Jewish journalist and filmmaker Richard Chaim Schneider wrote,

We are here! You have to consider us, but we don’t want to give account any longer that we live here in the country of the former perpetrators. We are here because we are here and we want to stay here. We are here, even if we feel ambiguity toward this country. We are here! This attitude is out of defiance, pride, self-confidence. We are here! Germany is our reality, the suitcases are unpacked. Whether this situation will continue has to be determined by Germany. Not because of the Jews, but for the country itself. If Jews will pack their suitcases again, then it will be for one reason: because Germany will give up its democracy.[5]

To live in Germany is no longer an ambiguity or even as shameful and painful for Jews as it had been up until the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps this is a result of feeling more comfortable, or even at home, in Germany; but one should be careful with this conclusion. Individuals can feel at home in one specific city, region, or federal state or see themselves even as citizens of Europe. Strict borders between countries are no longer important in Europe. Identities today are no longer fixed to one country or one cultural background. One can live in Germany, but still long for Russia and the Russian lifestyle, look forward to studying in the U.S., and even want to live in Israel for a period of time. An Israeli can live temporarily in Berlin, love the atmosphere there, but will move to London or Prague after some time.

An overwhelming majority of Jews in today’s Germany is acculturated. Many have become assimilated. More than 60 % marry or live with a non-Jewish partner.[6] A small percentage is orthodox, many are traditional or liberal, but a growing number are non-observant to secular. There are well-known Jewish intellectuals, writers, actors, artists, and researchers; some of these deal with Jewish topics, others do not, but they do not deny being Jewish.

Jews in Germany see their status mainly as German citizens of Jewish faith or Jewish origin and do not like the term “Jewish fellow citizens” which is often used in public speeches to avoid the term “Jew,” because many Germans still have problems saying this word aloud.

The various and colorful self-definitions and identities expressed by Jews themselves are often not acknowledged in German society, mainly because of the public roles which are imposed time and again on “the Jews.”  These roles are linked not only to images of “the Jew” and his function as needed by a society, but also to the policy of the Central Council. After Bubis’ last interview in 1999, in which he expressed deep pessimism and doubts regarding his efforts to start a new era in Jewish life in Germany, his successor, Paul Spiegel, tried to convince the public that there is a positive future. The enthusiasm for Jewish life in today’s Germany, underlined by the inauguration of new synagogues in the past 10 years, may seem a bit absurd to an observer. It seems that the void the Holocaust left shall be filled with the so-called Jewish Renaissance. The Jew as the victim will vanish.

Yet these synagogues cannot fill the void created by the Holocaust: new synagogues cannot bring back murdered people; and cannot restore the burnt synagogues, even if they are built on exactly the same ground. Synagogues show that Jews are there to stay, but they are no guarantee against anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli attitudes and the denial or misrepresentation of the Holocaust. It seems that the synagogues are, besides their function and importance for the Jewish communities, also an important symbol for the non-Jewish majority. They are almost evidence that everything has developed toward normality and that the void the Holocaust left behind has been filled.

Jews in Germany and the German Authorities

As mentioned above, during the years when the Jewish community in Western Germany was not fully acknowledged by world Jewish representatives it attached itself to the German authorities. This was a step back toward an attitude that Raphael Löwenfeld, a Berlin lawyer and the founder of the first Jewish self-defense organization in Germany after emancipation, had tried to avoid in the 1890s. During a peak of anti-Semitic events and politics, German Jews started to organize themselves against anti-Semitism and in 1893 in Berlin founded the “Central Council of German Citizens of Jewish Faith” (from now on to be referred to by its short German name: Centralverein).

Löwenfeld wrote in his booklet entitled Sheltered Jews or Citizens? that

Anti-Semitism is now part of parliamentary life. Hesitating, like a criminal who is aware of being guilty, it started to raise its voice in the congress, but now it shows confidence like a proper ideology…. And what does the representative of the assaulted people do? The board of the Jewish Community in Berlin met and decided to send a delegation to His Majesty the Emperor to beg the monarch for protection. The fear of these gentlemen has twisted their minds in such a way that they cannot divide any longer between equal rights and shelter. A request for protection has a moral base. He who begs for shelter has no rights or his rights have been diminished. We as German Jews have equal rights and the crowd of anti-Semites has no power to restrict them. Therefore we do not want to express a request to the Emperor, but a demonstration of modern Jewry! The moment all ways are open to us we can prove more than before that we are no less eager to serve our country than our fellow citizens and that our devotion and love toward our fatherland is no poorer.[7]

As the Centralverein declared in its statutes:

1. The Central Council intends to gather each and every German Citizen of Jewish Faith no matter to which religious or political stream he belongs. The aim is to support them in their defense and to maintain emancipation and social equality.[8]

Such an expression of self-confidence was not expressed by the Jewish community after the Holocaust. Emancipation and “tolerance” had failed; the one-sided love affair with Germany was shattered; the majority of the population in Germany had acted as perpetrators and bystanders or had taken advantage of the persecution of the Jews. The Holocaust was a demonstration of the most extreme anti-Semitism ever. Those Jews who stayed in Germany might not have trusted the German authorities, but they were their allies – as German authorities wanted to re-establish Germany as a trustful and equal member of the newly installed United Nations.

Thus the Jews needed the authorities and the authorities needed the Jews. This alliance, created in the beginning of the 1950s, exists to this day, although the situation and the public role of “the Jews” have changed. German authorities no longer need Jews to prove that Germany has changed. Jewish authorities and Jews even sometimes seem to “disturb” inner-German debates or discussions on history and present developments.

This paper will analyze the main roles which today are effectively “imposed” on Jews by the German authorities and public. These are Jews as victims of the Holocaust; Jews as admonishers against neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism; Jews as representatives of Israel  Jews as targets of Hate; and Jews as outsiders or exotic people.

Jews as Victims of the Holocaust

The discourse in Germany about the Holocaust began soon after the end of the Second World War. Although an overwhelming German majority always insisted that they “did not know,” recent research has proven that the German public knew already during the Holocaust period about its essence. Reports from National Socialist Germany reveal the surprisingly high degree to which the population was informed both about the fate of the deportees and the murder of the European Jews in the occupied territories in Eastern Europe.[9]

Bankier once underlined that the so-called indifference toward the fate of the Jews or even, after 1945, the denial of the Holocaust or the knowledge they had, was connected to the “indignation of the Germans at admitting their participation in the atrocities…because as those who didn’t know they would be immune to retaliation and revenge.”[10]

It is not the aim of this article to compare the German discourses on the Holocaust in the Bundesrepublik with those of the G.D.R., but some highlights will be mentioned.

Acknowledgement and commemoration of the Holocaust were part of official state policy in Western Germany, but it was not part of the public conscience and discourse: official policy did not automatically result in empathy. The newly organized Jewish life in Germany after The Second World War, together with a strict policy against anti-Semitism and the so called Wiedergutmachung (restitution) which was established in 1952/53, were seen somehow as a guarantee for Western Germany to prove that the country had changed.

This lasted until the screening of the TV series “Holocaust” in 1979, which put the Holocaust and therefore the Jewish victims into focus. The country’s collective conscience was enlightened to an extent that could never have been achieved by historical science and all its publications.

In the G.D.R. the situation was different:

America was discovered in 1492, the Jews in 1985 – at least as far as the late German Democratic Republic (G.D.R.) was concerned. Before 1985, the Jews were considered just another group persecuted by the Nazis, like the Communists. Though obviously absurd, this was the official East German view. And Jews or the Jewish State? The latter was seen as the “spearhead of U.S. imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism” in the Middle East, as a “brutal aggressor” and occupier, “like the Wehrmacht.” The former were the lackeys of the latter. Thus it is no wonder that the G.D.R. refused even to consider moral or financial restitution for the Holocaust. West Germany had made reparations to Israel since 1952, but the G.D.R. had done its best to bury its Nazi past.[11]

In Eastern Germany the Holocaust was included in the term “fascist persecution” and Jews were labeled as mere “victims,” whereas persecuted communists were proudly called “fighters against fascism” and received a higher pension than Jewish survivors. Anti-Jewish developments in the 1950s and anti-Israeli state policy were prominent in the G.D.R. and therefore an alliance between Jewish communities and G.D.R. officials did not develop as it did in Western Germany. In the last years of the crumbling G.D.R., its president, Erich Honecker suddenly started, for various reasons, to contact Jewish institutions and even the World Jewish Congress. If one examines this carefully, one sees that this was motivated mainly by anti-Semitic clichés:

Why this sudden discovery of the Jews and Israel by East German political leaders in 1985? The first reason was economic, the second political. Since the early 1980s, the G.D.R. had been virtually bankrupt. In search of economic assistance from the West, especially from the United States, Honecker and his colleagues hoped that Washington would grant them most-favored-nation status. Second, the G.D.R. was seeking to gain additional legitimacy. Honecker wished to be received officially at the White House, which would have been the climax of his political career and the culmination of his efforts to gain acceptance of the East German state.[12]

The background to Honecker’s reasoning was that recognition and money from the U.S. were only given if “the Jews” agreed, because they were seen as the real power behind Wall Street and the President of the U.S. In fall 1988 Edgar Bronfman, then President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), was awarded the highest decoration of the G.D.R., the “Friendship Star of the People in Gold.”

However, shortly afterwards the Wall came down and the G.D.R. became history after the unification with the Bundesrepublik in 1990.

The status of the Jew as the absolute victim of the National Socialists, which was established in the 1980s, seemed to continue even after German re-unification. The Jew as the absolute victim was common in politics, education, and in slogans such as “Never again!” or “Never again a Holocaust!” Yet these phrases did not lead to a stable empathy or honest feelings of loss and responsibility by the majority of Germany’s population.[13]

The national broadcasting of the TV series “Holocaust” in Western Germany (at the time, there were only a few public television stations and no private ones, so almost everybody watched the series) led to a more concerted national attempt to come to terms with recent history. The Germans became obsessed by their past, they needed to relive it constantly. It was no longer considered “in” to harbor anti-Semitic thoughts, and certainly not politically correct to express such ideas.

Instead, philo-Semites became the bane of many Jews – and led many to claim that philo-Semitism was the flip-side of the anti-Semitism coin, and almost as bad. Be that as it may, few Jews living in Germany would have denied that they were a lot better off living in the midst of a nation of philo-Semites than one of anti-Semites. Everything to do with Jews became fascinating, the media were desperately eager, hungry even, to produce yet another story about Jews, past and present, in Germany, Israel, and the U.S.; to put together documentaries on the rise of National Socialism, the war, the Holocaust, and more. Things Jewish became daily fare: Yiddish culture, and in particular Klezmer music, underwent a renaissance. Israel was the place to visit, and young Germans rushed to offer their services to kibbutzim. “All in all, many Germans did their utmost to make better what could not be made good.”[14]

The impact of the TV series “Holocaust” can be compared to the impact of Anne Frank’s diary in Germany today. Anne Frank’s life and thoughts are used as “the” icon of the Holocaust; she is perceived almost as a saint. Portraits of Anne Frank and a few sentences from her diary are used time and again and her personal fate is utilized to teach about everything “bad” in the world and how we “shall believe in goodness.” She has become the image of the absolute victim and also of hope – even though she died a horrible death in Bergen-Belsen. Her individuality is de-contextualized and she is universalized; her story and fate as a Jewish girl are no longer the focus. This is clearly connected to the discourse on the Jew as an absolute victim which began some years ago.

The perspective on the Holocaust changed and deteriorated parallel to the intensifying of the public discourse on the National Socialist past after 1990. This occurred on the background of various historical debates such as the Bubis-Walser debate in 1998.[15] It can be explained by a number of possible factors:  a new kind of patriotism; a self-conscious need to be a stable democracy and to create a distance from the National Socialist past; a feeling shared by many Germans of being “fed up” with the Holocaust; or out of the wish to disconnect with this part of the National Socialist-past. The National Socialist era remains of great interest to the German public, however the emphasis has shifted. It is obvious that issues of victimhood are moving steadily toward minimization or at least indifference toward the Jews as victims of the Holocaust.

First there is an obvious trend toward self-victimization in Germany: historiography and bestsellers such as Jörg Friedrich’s Der Brand – on the Allied bombings of Germany during the Second World War – increasingly portray a majority of Germans as victims of the war and not as perpetrators, bystanders, or people deriving benefit from persecution. Connected to this re-writing of history are not only the Allied bombings, but also German expulsion from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other countries, and the fate of German POWs.

A large percentage of the German population – in private life, not in politics and official remembrance – nowadays no longer recognizes Jews as the main victims of the National Socialists. Thus the paradigm of the Holocaust as a mass murder of unprecedented measure is often discussed intensely or even denied. This is not Holocaust-denial, but rather the doubt is raised time and again as to whether the Holocaust was a paradigm and therefore unique in the history of genocides and within the National Socialist atrocities. Out of this debate, which strives to minimize the Holocaust and distort the status of the Jews as the main victim of the National Socialist regime, the following finding by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2007 in Germany are not surprising: 45% of Germans believe that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.[16]

The main assumptions within this widely held public and also academic debate on the meaning of victimhood during the National Socialist era and the minimization of Jews as victims are:

  • The term Holocaust is often used today in the sense of a general term for all National Socialist victims, including Gypsies and homosexuals. Persecution and mass murder during the National Socialist era are often marked in general as “Holocaust” because there shall be no “superior victims,” as Jews are referred to at times.
  • The Holocaust is nowadays often reduced to the terms “National Socialist atrocities” or “experience of injustice.”
  • Who is the Jewish victim? Academics, educators, and others at times emphasize that the “categorization” on which Jewish commemoration, or even the collection of the victims’ names is based, mainly follows the “Nuremberg laws.” Remarks in debates include for example, “we shall not name each victim of Jewish origin as a Jew because we cannot define these people.” Basically this means that one shall not define someone as a Jew without asking the individual what his/her identity is. Although this is, in its intention, well meaning, it also has an undertone which assumes that Jewish/Israeli remembrance is too dominating. In these debates no one takes into consideration that those Jews who were sent to a camp first as political opponents were in the end murdered as Jews, and that non-Jewish political prisoners had a much better chance to survive.

Well-meaning people, as well as debaters mainly from the left, sometimes underline that “Jewish commemoration of the Holocaust excludes all other victims.” This is linked to the tendency to subsume victims under a general term or to label it under “Nazi-atrocities”. It is also linked to anti-Semitic images of Jewish domination and the exclusivity of the “chosen people.”

It is sometimes emphasized that victims such as Poles and Italians are linked clearly to a nation; homosexuals and Gypsies are also acceptable categories because of certain characteristics, but at the time Jews were neither a nation (they were, it is then pointed out, French or German citizens for example) nor a group with identical characteristics.

Jews are no longer seen as the absolute victims. This is perhaps not only linked to the inner-German debate and to the nation’s trend toward self-victimization, but also to anti-Israel and anti-Zionist positions which have developed largely within the new century: “The reasons are clear: Jews, who make themselves guilty, lose the victim’s status and get vulnerable.”[17]

Jews as Admonishers against Neo-Nazism and Anti-Semitism

The symbolic role of Jews as “living memorials” of Neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism is of importance to the politicians, the public, and so-called “do-gooders” – people who call themselves, for example, “anti-Fascists,” “fighters against right-wing-extremism,” or “supporters of multiculturalism.”  In their definitions, these people normally distinguish totally between anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias. The latter they do not link to anti-Semitism because they have often internalized an anti-Israel attitude which they call “humanism,” “balanced thinking,” or “having learnt a lesson from the Holocaust.”

Jewish warnings in Germany against the increase of Muslim anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitic attitudes one hears in schoolyards and certain Muslim communities are often neglected because many politicians seem to fear situations such as that which occurred in the Netherlands after the murder of Theo van Gogh in 2004, when “peaceful” cooperation with Muslim neighborhoods exploded violently.

Jews are mainly seen as admonishers against anti-Semitism from the right, which is a very narrow perspective on reality considering leftist anti-Semitism. Jews in today’s Germany are seen as allies against pre-Auschwitz anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial, found above all in neo-Nazi circles and revisionist groups. This perspective reduces the contemporary anti-Semitism to an attitude which is not shared by the majority. However, anti-Zionism may be shared by the same people and groups – for example labor unions – who are seeking Jewish allies in the fight against Neo-Nazis.

The hatred of Jews has often united radical Islamic youngsters with neo-Nazis; both groups more or less deny the Holocaust and both long for the annihilation of the State of Israel. Since spring 2007, a T-shirt showing the face of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad and the slogan “My best friend is a foreigner” has become popular, although Nazis typically dislike foreigners. Everyone who wants to can recognize Muslim anti-Semitism.[18] This issue will be discussed in more detail below.

Comparisons between the Holocaust/National Socialism and Today’s Events

There is always uproar in certain public circles – politics, media, NGOs – when Neo-Nazis march through cities or villages. The same happens when a Neo-Nazi member of a State Parliament – such as in Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – tries to influence politics or shows no respect on memorial days. This also happens when synagogues or Jewish cemeteries are vandalized or desecrated, the Holocaust is denied, the number of its victims is minimized, or certain anti-Semitic images are used such as “the rich Jew,” or “the Murder of Jesus.”

A recent event of Holocaust-denial shows that debates on anti-Semitism are, although sometimes intense, mainly short-lived and do not have a real impact on historical consciousness. In January 2009, the re-integration of four formerly ex-communicated Catholic bishops, ordained by the conservative and right-wing Bishop Lefebvre, into the Catholic Church, was announced by Pope Benedict XVI. These bishops are part of the Brotherhood of Pius X, which does not accept the Second Vatican Council. This council, in which the late Pope John Paul II also participated, sought to reconcile church teachings with modern principles, praising the advances of science and technology, democratic government, and religious tolerance. It also adopted a new rhetoric, avoiding confrontational language and critical statements directed toward other religious bodies or governments.

One of the bishops, British born Richard Williamson gave an interview on Swedish TV which took place in Germany, in which he denied the Holocaust. He underlined that in his opinion no gas chambers ever existed and Jews were never murdered in the Holocaust, rather “only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in the Ghettos.”[19]

The Central Council promptly protested and cut off contact with the Catholic Church on 29 January. Intellectuals and critical journalists took up this topic and individuals started to renounce their affiliation with the Catholic Church and leave it. The weekly newspaper Der Spiegel mentioned the cases of Catholic Roma in Germany whose families were persecuted during the Nazi-era and some murdered.[20]

After only one week the debate expanded: Catholic intellectuals in Germany protested, and on 3 February German Chancellor Angela Merkel also intervened and asked the Pope to make a clear statement that the Vatican and the Catholic Church do not tolerate any form of Holocaust denial. This step by Merkel was largely unavoidable, because the first who protested were Jews and the Central Council – and because Holocaust denial is something for which, under German law, one can be prosecuted.

In such a situation, no German government could keep silent without losing its reputation. However, Merkel received heavy criticism from her fellow party members and Catholic representatives in Germany who claimed that a German Chancellor (and a Protestant Chancellor at that) should not demand anything from the Pope and should not interfere in inner-Catholic issues.

Another very interesting reaction which followed immediately was that of conspiracy theorists: rumors were spread that a media conspiracy, linked to Jewish organizations, had forced this scandal on the Pope, because the TV interview was “launched” the moment the decision of the Vatican was announced. On 4 February 2009, the daily Die Welt wrote that in certain groups “within the Vatican there were even rumors that Merkel acted only because of pressure from the Central Council of Jews in Germany and from American Jews.”[21]

On 4 February, following this outrage, the Vatican asked Williamson to retract his statements denying the Holocaust. Despite all the mentioned connotations within the debate it is of interest that the ideology of the Pius X Brotherhood in general was not criticized by those involved in the debate, even though it is anti-democratic and anti-Semitic and does not accept the decisions of the Second Vatican Council. This also means that contemporary Jews are not absolved of guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus.

Anti-Semitism appears in many facets – but the public always reduces anti-Semitism to certain images. Therefore one can underline that often the debates and uproars are linked to the Holocaust and reactions occur in the heat of the moment – as a kind of political correctness.

A hearing in Berlin on 16 June 2008, in the framework of the Interior Committee of the Bundesrepublik, brought together ten lecturers – experts on anti-Semitism such as Schoeps, the author Henryk M. Broder, the representative of the Central Council Stephan Kramer, and Deirdre Berger from the American Jewish Committee. Broder, who was awarded with the Ludwig-Boerne-honor[22] in 2008 is known for his very sharp and pointed remarks about anti-Semitism, “do-gooders,” and the dream of peaceful multi-cultural-societies. Many people in Germany dislike and even despise him and his publications. Probably, as the critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki has put it, the best authors and intellectuals in Germany were always, in various books and time and again in speeches, perceived as Jews and “troublemakers”.

Broder said in his speech:

The anti-Semitism about which we like to speak hails from the court exhibits chamber from the last century and the century before last. This is the anti-Semitism of those idiots who still hunt after a phantom. The common anti-Semite does not have any image about the subject of his obsessions, only some vague anticipation. He lets off steam by painting swastikas on hoardings and “Jews shall die!” on gravestones. He is a case for the police and the local court, nothing else. No one is an ally of such hooligans who raise their arms and shout “Jews out!” This anti-Semitism is disgusting, but politically irrelevant, an obituary on itself.

The modern anti-Semite shows a totally different appearance. He has no bald head, but manners, often also an academic title and he expresses grief about the Jews who died in the Holocaust. But he immediately questions why the survivors and their offspring have not learnt anything from history and why today they torment another people in the same way they were tormented in former times. The modern anti-Semite does not believe in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion but fantasizes about the “Israel Lobby.” … The modern anti-Semite naturally commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January, but he also argues that Iran has the right to have its own nuclear weapons…. The modern anti-Semite condemns ordinary anti-Semitism as awesome, but he names himself without hesitation anti-Zionist. He is grateful for having the chance to show his resentments in a politically correct way. Anti-Zionism is the same resentment as classical anti-Semitism. The anti-Zionist has the same attitude toward Israel as anti-Semites carry toward Jews.[23]

Broder stressed what can be recognized in Germany time and again: the perception of anti-Semitism is reduced to amongst right-wing groups and Neo-Nazis. Broder also emphasized that anti-Semitism has changed and that these resentments are shared by a much broader public. There are no real large-scale activities against leftist anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism by non-Jewish activists. Some individual activists and organizations try time and again to raise the problem to the top of the agenda, yet this is not really a successful strategy. One example is the attempt to sett up a federal association for observing anti-Semitism in Germany. The first gathering was held in 2008, since then nothing happened, which was in summer 2009 openly discussed by e.g. Broder and  Schoeps.

Even before being angered by the procedure to set up an official German organization against anti-Semitism, Schoeps expressed his opinion in the newspaper Tageszeitungthat

protests against anti-Semitism, organized by small groups, do not get extensive attention in Germany. Resolutions by the German parliament to reject anti-Semitism are drivel of the worst kind…. But all those ineffective actions are presented to the world as a strong defense against the charge of Anti-Semitism. The truth is: no one is really interested in these matters. No one really cares.[24]

Therefore the symbolic role of Jews in this regard results from blindness toward the fact that anti-Semitism has changed and has been adapted to fit the twenty first century.

Jews as victims of National Socialist anti-Semitism and the Holocaust are pushed into the role of admonishers to reassure German good-doers as well as NGOs and “anti-Fascists.” Publicly, there is also the hope that being active against Neo-Nazis and the anti-Semitism of the previous century on a political level will pacify the Jews and somehow keep them quiet and satisfied with, and in, Germany.

This has been clear also during those short-lived debates on comparisons of certain circumstances and events with the Holocaust. Examples include the comparison by Neo-Nazis of the Holocaust to Allied bombings (“Dresden bomb-Holocaust”), animal rights-activists (“Animal Holocaust” or “Holocaust on your plate”), Islamic activists (“Muslims are the Jews of today”), self-announced “peace activists” (“Gaza Holocaust”), or even researchers (“Bankers are today’s Jews”).

This symbolic role of Jews in Germany could be illustrated with pages and pages of examples. Yet attention must also be given also to a discussion that took place in December 2008 which compared anti-Semitism to anti-Islamist attitudes at the conference of the “Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung” (Center of Research on Anti-Semitism, Berlin) and its Year Book. The director of the institute, Prof. Wolfgang Benz, a serious, honorable researcher with many merits in his field, was suddenly under fire due to this comparison, because for many people – within the Jewish communities in Germany, Jewish organizations, and also in Israel – it seemed that his institute had crossed a line. The main argument was that this comparison at once minimized the Holocaust and the danger of Islamism.

As Dr. Dieter Graumann, in his function as Vice President of the Central Council, put it:

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia cannot be seen as similar – the differences are huge, in the racist element, the tragic history and its annihilating character – in the past started by the Nazis and today by well-known Islamists like the Iranian president. Everyone who denies this and parallels these phenomena inherits a naïve image of the world…[25]

The background of the debate is manifold: is there a real genocidal threat by Iran or is this mere “Holocaust-Trauma”? How much criticism may be expressed against Israel and how much anti-Semitism can be found in Islam? All of these issues mingle with the symbolic role of the Jews in Germany as victims of the Holocaust – the former victims should be alert and help the actual victims; it is seen as their duty to warn against anti-Islamic attitudes. These debates are often not very logical, but all show how many roles the Jews in Germany must play within their non-Jewish surroundings.

The Holocaust is obviously exploitable, and it does not matter that here and there are voices that condemn these comparisons as unacceptable and warn against a minimization and deterioration of the Holocaust. A systematic comparison of the Holocaust with other mass murders and genocides, which would lead to the result that the Holocaust was and still is unprecedented in the history of genocides and therefore a paradigm, is not common in Germany, not even in the academic discourse.[26] This comparison would be the only one which would lead to a future perspective, as Broder has put it, “it is very simple: those who do not want to speak about Darfur should be silent about Auschwitz.”[27] If the world had really learned anything from the Holocaust, then it should act differently and not focus on hate and rejection of the State of Israel.

Jews as Representatives of Israel – Jews as Targets of Hate

A slight majority – 51% – of the population in Germany believes that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own country.[28] At times when Israel has been forced to act against its enemies, as in December 2008 and January 2009, this attitude fuels doubts regarding the loyalty of Jews toward the German state. It also fuels hate against Jews because they are seen as Israelis or their substitutes. Israel and Israelis are today’s symbol for “the evil”; everything that goes wrong in the world nowadays is blamed not on “the Jew” in the definition of Jewish citizens living in Europe and other countries around the world, but the focus is turned toward the Middle East:

A strange mixture of people and organizations are involved in this “new” anti-Semitism. They do not come only from the pro-Palestinian camp and from Islam, but also from the radical left and extreme right. Radical leftist groups who protest against U.S. colonialism, globalization, and the Western capitalist civilization in general have joined up with extreme rightist groups of neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, skinhead activists, racists and xenophobes who all share the common bond of Jew hatred. These “new” anti-Semites do not differentiate between Jews in general and Israelis in particular. For them, Jews and Israelis all represent the ultimate Zionist evil, which should be destroyed at all costs.[29]

This attitude led to widespread anti-Israeli demonstrations and uproar in the media, public events, and other forums in winter 2008-09.

Even though the focus of this essay is on the symbolic roles of Jews in Germany, one must mention some of the main slogans which were expressed time and again during this period:

“Israel = Child murder”

“Zionists are fascists”

“Israel = from victims to perpetrators”

“Zionists out of Palestine”

“Zionism = contempt toward human beings”

“Germany, wake up” (originally a Nazi-slogan: “Deutschland erwache”)

“You are wrong, Mrs. Merkel: Reason: KZ [Concentration Camp] in the Third Reich = Result = Terror state Israel = Result: Gassed and bombed children and women in Gaza”

Cynically, one can say that the State of Israel is today’s Jew in the countries of the world. The wish of many to live in a world without the State of Israel can be translated as genocidal and even as representing an ideology which is similar to the National Socialist goal of creating a German Reich which would be “judenrein.” This now translates into a world in which Jews no longer have the right to exist.

Jews who live in Germany and elsewhere are seen as representatives of the State of Israel and are held responsible for whatever actions Israel takes or does not take.

During these times of recurring anti-Israeli propaganda in Germany, the Jewish communities, the Central Council and prominent Jewish individuals are acting against these accusations, and the overall anti-Semitic mood which is spreading in the public domain. Demonstrations against this anti-Israeli bias are organized by groups which include Honestly Concerned, Pro-Zion and others.

Local Jewish communities and leading representatives such as Drs. Dieter Graumann, Michel Friedman and Salomon Korn, or independent Jewish personalities such as Ralph Giordano and Broder, raise their voices, write articles, and give statements in the media. But they are always seen as “the Fifth Column” – they are accused of being subjective and their statements are minimized as “biased,” and expressing “self-interest.”

In a live discussion under the title “Bloody Remains in Gaza – How Far May Our Solidarity with Israel Reach?” on 21 January 2009,[30] Friedman, the former vice-president of the Central Council, found himself side by side with participants who are known for their notorious anti-Israel attitudes, such as the former Christian Democrat Minister Norbert Blüm and the “expert” on the Middle East, Udo Steinbach. Steinbach, born in 1943, was director of the “German Orient-Institute” between 1970 and 2007. His comparisons between the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and Palestinian suicide bombers, and a clear anti-Israeli attitude which has nothing to do with the usual criticism of certain Israeli policies and politicians, have made him famous in certain Germany circles.

Both Steinbach and Blüm are known for their comparisons of the Holocaust with current Israeli politics. The whole discussion went beyond any framework. Friedman found himself in a position defending himself as a German citizen, which was time and again rejected because he was made into the symbol for “the Israelis.” Those who watched the discussion decided in an opinion poll that there should be no hesitation in criticizing Israel by a majority of 69%. This would not have meant much on its own, but in connection to this openly anti-Israeli debate one can imagine that these people not only support criticism of Israel but also anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitism disguised as “criticism” of Israel.

This symbolic role of Jews in Germany as representatives of Israeli politics and “the Israelis” is connected much more than in other European countries with getting rid of any feeling of responsibility for the Holocaust and its consequences. If Israel is “the evil” state in which the IDF is the German Wehrmacht or the SS and Zionism is fascism and Gaza is Auschwitz, a line may be drawn under the past and German responsibility is no longer on the agenda.

Yves Pallade, who studied European Studies and Politics in London, Cambridge, and Berlin, wrote his Ph.D. on German-Israeli relations. He underlined that

if the Jewish state can be cast in the role of the “new Nazis” or at least the torch-bearer of the South African apartheid regime, does this not help to relieve the critic from the historic burden that his own national history has imposed on him – even if only to a certain extent? … The “nazification” of Israel is an emotionally charged fantasy that has little to do with the realities of the Middle East conflict but that demonstrates the mindset of its promoters. [31]

Jews as Outsiders and Exotics.

The German-Russian-Jewish writer Lena Gorelik, one of the rising stars of young literature, in Germany wrote that a German Jewish friend once told her the reason he liked being in Israel so much was because he does not have to think about his being Jewish there. Gorelik continues,

And I couldn’t say it better myself. The looks wear me down. Whenever I say it – usually because it’s simply not important, not important enough – whenever the word “Jewish” is uttered I feel these looks. These wary looks. What are they looking for: my black caftan? A Star of David on a chain?

…sometimes I have to give readings at Jewish cultural festivals, which take place in every German city nowadays. Some of the people sitting there in the audience don’t love my book – or even literature, for that matter. They just want to see a real Jewess in the flesh. At one such reading, after the applause had died down, a lady asked me first thing whether I intended to have my son circumcised. Someone else said later how nice it was that Jesus had brought us all together there. I don’t want to be a problem. I don’t want to be an issue or exotic, I want to be me. A woman, writer, Lena: not a Jewess and there an end, for the time being. I don’t want to talk about history either. And the readings are about my book and not about Jesus.[32]

Despite the other roles of Jews in the German public, which are mainly connected to the National Socialist past and the Holocaust in one way or another, there is another, deeper image of Jews in German society. This image is connected to a reconstruction of the past and insisting that a “Jewish renaissance” exists. This “Jewish Renaissance” is not what we see in Germany – a new Jewishness established which has nothing to do with the Jewish worlds up to 1933. Another very intense image is that of the Jews as exotic people with exotic food, exotic families, and exotic music. Jewish culture weeks and Jewish food festivals are visited by many German citizens, but this is not proof that Israel is recognized or someone is not an anti-Semite. It is mere attraction of the “exotic.” This is similar to the huge attention that African festivals and music attract, but the real problems, for example the genocide going on in Darfur for years, are not important to those who eat and listen.

Regarding the so-called “revival of Jewish life” in Germany, this is a fallacy: Germany must recognize that its old Jewish heritage is gone. What one may find remaining of the old German-Jewish heritage are memorial sites, commemorative plaques, cultural centers, and museums. All these institutions and commemoration sites are mainly initiated and maintained by gentiles (with some exceptions such as the Jewish museums in Berlin and Frankfurt). The non-Jewish visitors guess that a museum visit and a glimpse at ritual and other objects from the Jewish past are signs of the restoration of Jewish life in Germany today.

Yet it is not. This is Judaism in display cases, very important, but in no way connected to the present. If the visitors, after their stroll through 1000 years of Jewish life in Germany, rest a bit and eat some Israeli salad and sip some kosher wine they fall under the illusion that this is real Jewish life. Jewish life in today’s Germany, as mentioned in the introduction, was not restored after the Holocaust, but newly established, mainly by non-German Jews who originated from Eastern Europe. Today’s communities are made up of a majority of immigrants who have arrived since 1991 from Russia and other parts from the former Soviet Union.

There is indeed Jewish life in Germany – but not the one about which people fantasize. There is no Leo Baeck and no Kurt Tucholsky, but mainly rabbis from the U.S. and Israel, and writers who originate from the former Soviet Union, such as Wladimir Kaminer and Lena Gorelik. Many of these immigrants do not care about religion and tradition, but they are nevertheless Jewish.

Germany’s new Jews are not connected as deeply to the Holocaust as the Central European Jews who are members of the Communities. The elderly Russian Immigrants are forming organizations such as the so-called “Red Army Veterans’ club” in Berlin and hold events on 9 May to commemorate the end of the Second World War and the victory of the Red Army, but are not connected to 27 January as the day of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Well-meaning gentiles ask time and again whether these people who belong to a community but are not traditional are REALLY Jews? They do not ask for reasons ofhalacha, but because their image of “the Jew” is different.  In November 2006, on its front page, the daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, underlined that “the biggest challenge for the Jewish community in Germany was to make Russian Jews into authentic Jews.”[33]

Questions have to be asked: What and who is authentic? What and who is seen by the gentile as Jewish? In the eyes of someone who loves the exoticness of the Jews, something “typically” Jewish is the fusion of Klezmer music, Jewish festivals, kosher cooking, shtetl-life, intellectualism, and humor.

This image of the Jew as an exotic outsider encompasses perfidiously the Jews’ own diversity and the many Jewish self-images which exist. Marking Jews as exotic denies any mutual influence between Jews and the surrounding culture and people since emancipation or even before. It denies the Holocaust and the gap which was opened – we simply cannot return to the world of Albert Einstein and Walter Rathenau. It denies the void which was set up by Germans and their helpers in the Jewish world in Europe. It denies that the shtetl was wiped out by the Holocaust. It denies that not every Jew cooks eastern European recipes or Israeli style. It denies that Jews can be blonde or red-heads not only dark haired. It denies that there exists a real Jewish life, not only the virtual Jewish world which was set up and built to comfort non-Jewish people. Iris Weiss named this “Jewish Disneyland”:[34]

The themes of Jewish Disneyland are romanticism, exoticization, folklorization and historicization of everything Jewish. As a result, that which is really Jewish becomes (or is made) invisible. The fictions of Jewish Disneyland increasingly become the measure of reality for the media, which present them as “Jewish culture.” Real Jews, insofar as they are still around, cannot match the fictional image. They are therefore a disappointment.[35]

The real Jew – a disappointment – this may also be the short and ironic summary of the analysis of the symbolic roles of Jews in Germany.

Literature:

Michael Bodemann, ed. Jews, Germany, Memory: Reconstruction of Jewish Life in Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996).

Jay Howard Geller. Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany (Cambridge: CUP, 2005).

Jane Kramer. The Politics of Memory: Looking for Germany in the New Germany (New York: Random House, 1996).

Jeffrey Peck. Being Jewish in the New Germany (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 2006).

Susan Stern. Jews in Germany Today (1995 and 1997): Dynamic Growth, Dramatic Change (Bonn: Inter Nationes, 1997).

Susan Stern ed,. Speaking Out: Jewish Voices from United Germany (Berlin: edition q, 1995).

*     *     *

Notes

[1]. According to the Statistisches Bundesamt, Statistisches Jahrbuch 2008, 67, which took these numbers from the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland), www.destatis.de/jetspeed/portal/cms/Sites/destatis/SharedContent/Oeffentlich/AI/IC/Publikationen/Jahrbuch/Bevoelkerung,property=file.pdf [German]. All websites last accessed 1 February 2009 unless otherwise stated.

[2]. http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.remid.de/remid_info_zahlen.htm [German].

[3]. Interview with David Bankier, Source: CD Multimedia, “Eclipse Of Humanity,” Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 2000.

[4]. Julius H. Schoeps, Mein Weg als deutscher Jude [My way as a German Jew] (Zürich: Pendo Verlag, 2003), 315 [German]. All translations are by the author unless otherwise stated.

[5]. Richard Chaim Schneider, Wir sind da! Die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland von 1945 bis heute [We are here! The history of the Jews in Germany from 1945 up to today ] (Berlin: Ullstein Verlag, 2000), 51 [German].

[6]. http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.jewishagency.org/

JewishAgency/English/Jewish+Education/Focus+Areas/60Israel/

Shabbat/Resources/Bg/The+JPPPI+Annual+Assessment+2007.htm,

[7]. Raphael Löwenfeld, Schutzjuden oder Staatsbürger? [Sheltered Jews or Jewish citizens?] (Third edition, Berlin, 1893) [German].

[8]. Statutes as printed in the C. V. Kalender [Centralverein calendar], 1929, 41.

[9]. Otto Dov Kulka and Eberhard Jäckel, eds., Die Juden in den geheimen NS-Stimmungsberichten 1933-1945 [Jews in the secret Nazi-bulletins on the mood in Germayn 1933-1945] (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2004) [German]; Peter Longerich, “Davon haben wir nichts gewusst!” Die Deutschen und die Judenverfolgung 1933-1945 [“This we didn’t know!” The Germans and the Jewish persecution 1933-1945] (Munich: Siedler Verlag, 2006) [German].

[10]. David BankierDie öffentliche Meinung im Hitler-Staat. Die Endlösung und die Deutschen, Eine Berichtigung [The public opinion in Hitler’s state: The “Final Solution” and the Germans. A correction] (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 1995), 16.

[11]. Michael Wolffsohn, “The World Jewish Congress and the End of the German Democratic Republic,” German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C., Occasional Paper 3(1991): 13, http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/ebook/serien/p/ghi-dc/op03.pdf.

[12]. Ibid., 14.

[13]. This includes the whole population and does not distinguish between Muslims, Christians, Germans, Turks, foreigners etc.

[14]. Susan Stern, Jews in Germany, http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/www.dickinson.edu/glossen/heft16/stern.html, last accessed on 2 February 2009).

[15]. For details on various historical debates see my article “Representations of the Holocaust in Today’s Germany: Between Justification and Empathy,”

[16]. http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.adl.org/main_Anti_Semitism_International/as_survey_2007.htm%3fMulti_page_sections=sHeading_2.

[17]. Prof. Wolfgang Benz, “Anti-Semitismus ohne Antisemiten? Möllemann, Blüm et al. bedienen Ressentiments – ohne es zugeben oder wahrhaben zu wollen” [Anti-Semitism without Anti-Semites? Möllemann, Blüm et al. support prejudices without acknowledging it], Jüdische Allgemeine, 3 July 2002 [German].

[18]. For recent surveys on anti-Semitism within Muslim communities and Muslim students see Prof. Dr. Albert Scherr, Barbara Schäuble and Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, eds.,“Ich habe nichts gegen Juden, aber…” – Ausgangsbedingungen und Perspektiven gesellschaftspolitischer Bildungsarbeit gegen Anti-Semitismus [I don’t have anything against Jews, but…” – Sources and perspectives of civil education against Anti-Semitism] (Berlin, 2007); the brochure is downloadable in German:

http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.amadeu-antonio-stiftung.de/w/files/pdfs/ich_habe_nichts_2.pdf [German], last accessed 2 February 2009; see also Joachim Wagner,”Hitler gefällt mir” (I like Hitler), Die Zeit, 7 June 2007, 24,

http://hermes.zeit.de/pdf/archiv/2007/24/Muslim-Antisemitismus.pdf [German], last accessed 2 February 2009

[19]. Excerpts from the interview are available at http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=l0_H_Apgqdg ; see Peter Wensierski, “Wie die Piusbrüder gegen Juden, Muslime und Schwule hetzen” [how the Pius brotherhood agitate against Jews, Muslims and Homosexuals], Der Spiegel, http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/0,1518,605239,00.html [German], last accessed 4 February 2009.

[20]. Der Spiegel, 2 February 2009, 40ff [German].

[21]. See: http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.welt.de/politik/article3145354/Vatikan-vermutet-TV-Komplott-gegen-den-Papst.html [German], last accessed 4 February 2009.

[22]. Ludwig Boerne (1786-1837) was a German-Jewish political writer and satirist, born as Loeb Baruch in the Jewish Quarter in Frankfurt. Börne’s works are known for brilliancy of style and for a thoroughly vein of satire. He left Germany in 1830 and lived in Paris until his death.

[23]. See Henryk M. Broder, Lecture during the hearing on 16 June 2008, http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.bundestag.de/ausschuesse/a04/anhoerungen/Anhoerung14/Stellungnahmen_SV/Stellungnahme_08.pdf; all other statements can be read at www.bundestag.de/ausschuesse/a04/anhoerungen/Anhoerung14/Stellungnahmen_SV/index.html [German], last accessed 2 February 2009.

[24]. See Julius H. Schoeps, “Antisemitismus ist Teil dieser Kultur” [Anti-Semitism is part of everyday culture], TAZ, 25 October 2002. See www.berlin-judentum.de/bildung/antisemitismusforschung.htm [German], last accessed 2 February 2009.

[25]. Dieter Graumann, Jerusalem Post, 10 December 2008.

[26]. See Yehuda Bauer, “On the Holocaust and its Implications: In the Wake of Holocaust Remembrance Day,” 27 January 2006, http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.un.org/holocaustremembrance/2006/events/bauer.htm, last accessed 2 February 2009.

[27]. Henryk M. Broder, “Die Leere vom 9. November” [The emptiness of 9 November], Der Tagesspiegel, 11 November 2008 [German].

[28]. See the new findings of an ADL survey, published in February 2009: http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/5465_13.htm, last accessed 18 February 2009.

[29]. Natan P.F. Kellermann, “Unconditional Hate: Anti-Semitism in the Contemporary World,” paper presented at the conference “Antisemitism in the Contemporary World,” Melbourne, Australia, 6-7 February 2005, http://peterfelix.tripod.com/home/.

[30]. http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.wdr.de/tv/hartaberfair/sendungen/2009/20090121.php5, last accessed 24 February 2009.

[31]. Yves Pallade, “Delegitimizing Jews and the Jewish State: Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism after Auschwitz,” The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 3/1 (2009): 67.

[32]. Lena Gorelik, http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/www.goethe.de/ges/phi/dos/jul/jug/en1249806.htm [German], last accessed 2 February 2009.

[33]. Quoted on http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/content_Juedisches%20Leben.php%3fid=8666, last accessed 24 February 2009.

[34]. http://www.jcpa.org/program%20files/qualcomm/eudora/attach/www.hagalil.com/golem/diaspora/disneyland-e.htm, last accessed 24 February 2009.

[35]. Ibid.

 

About Dr. Susanne Urban

Dr. Susanne Urban is a historian who was employed between 2004 and 2009 at Yad Vashem. Since May 2009 she has served as Head of Historical Research at the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen. She has published two books together with Israel's first ambassador to Germany, Asher Ben Nathan. Another book on Jews at the Volkswagen factory in 1944-1945 was published in German and English. She also teaches at German universities.