Germany / 06-09-2012
Leader of European Jewry: Situation now for Jews in Germany reminiscent to 1945
The recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks and incidents in Berlin has one Munich-born Holocaust survivor and recognized leader of European Jewry asking if Berlin still wants its Jews. In an op-ed which ran in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Charlotte Knobloch, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, writes that the situation German Jews now face is as critical as it was in 1945, and says German Jews never recovered from the Holocaust.
“In my nightmares I never thought that a short time before my eightieth birthday I would ask myself if I’d survived the murder of the Jews, to experience this.
For six decades I’ve had to explain why I stayed in Germany – like a sheep amongst wolves. I always carried this burden because I was convinced that this country and its people were worthy,” Knobloch wrote. “For the first time, my faith is starting wane….I ask myself seriously, if this country still wants us.” She added that for “sixty years, I’ve defended Germany as a Holocaust survivor. Now I’m asking myself if that was justified. I am no longer willing to take part in this fraudulent discourse, in which portrays a new, rejuvenated, and blossoming Judaism in Germany, which gives the Germany people that feeling that time heals even the greatest wounds. The fact is, German Jewry never overcame the Holocaust.”
Over the course of the past several weeks, German Jews have witnessed the banning of circumcision; the arrests of rabbis who continued performing circumcisions; the brutal assault on Rabbi Daniel Alter and the threats to kill his six-year-old daughter; and the anti-Semitic incident at the “Or Avner” Chabad school involving 13 female students. The climate in Germany has become so toxic, in fact, that the rabbinical school Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam advised its students not to wear their yarmulkes in public, but rather, “something inconspicuous which to cover their heads.”