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Dubow Digest American Edition February 6, 2013

Dubow Digest American Edition February 6, 2013

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Published by Eugene DuBow
An American Jewish - German Information and Opinion Newsletter
An American Jewish - German Information and Opinion Newsletter

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Published by: Eugene DuBow on Feb 07, 2013
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02/07/2013

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1
 AN AMERICAN JEWISH 
 –
GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION 
 AMERICAN EDITION
 February 6, 2013Dear friends:I realize that not a full month has gone by since the last edition but because of my trip to
Berlin and the fact that there is much to talk about I‟ve decided to just go ahead and
send this out. Besides, I never said this was a monthly. It follows a different calendar 
 –
 
The When I‟m Ready Calendar and
----
I‟m ready!
 IN THIS EDITIONTHE 15TH ANNIVERSARY: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT
 –
AJC Berlin (Ramer Institute)has become everything I (and AJC) hoped it would be largely thanks to Deidre Berger. A POLITICAL SETBACK?
 –
The Chancellor and the CDU take it on the chin. A loss butprobably not a fatal one. ANTI-ISRAEL---ANTI-SEMITIC?
 –
Does one cross the line being strongly anti-Israel? ANTI-SEMITISM IN EVERY DAY LIFE-
Living with it every day. It‟s no fun.
 19
th
CENTURY GERMANY
 –
Fascinating picturesTHE ELYSEE TREATY
 –
 
Treaties between countries are mostly forgotten or don‟t stand
th
e test of time. This one hasn‟t been and does.
 SAVING NAZI WAR CRIMINALS: A GENUINE DISGRACE
 –
 
It‟s an ugly story.
 HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
 –
Who is Inge Deutschkron? Why is she important?
 
2THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY: A PERSONAL ACCOUNTThere is no doubt - it was because I had been part of it. However, I was more than justtouched by the recent celebration of the 15
th
anniversary of the opening of AJC's BerlinOffice (now known as the Ramer Institute). As the Founding Director it was like seeingone of your children grow to maturity and receive some sort of recognition. For some,15 years seems practically a lifetime. In this case 15 years seemed to me more like 15minutes. AJC's physical entry into the Berlin landscape actually began in 1997 (not 1998 whenthe present office was opened.). When I arrived in Berlin on July 2, 1997 the MossePalais Building, where the office was to be, was not yet completed. So, Wendy Kloke,my first assistant, and I worked out of my apartment on Bruchstaller Strasse. The greatdream of AJC's Executive Director, David Harris along with the support of Larry and LeeRamer, to have an AJC office in Germany (and be the first American Jewishorganization to do so) came to pass on that date. I plugged my new laptop into thephone connection and AJC Berlin was in business!It was a real startup. Though my colleague Rabbi Andy Baker and I had held a well-attended press conference a few months before and had many contacts made over many years, opening an office - a physical presence - was something new and quitedifferent. German and Jewish leadership had welcomed visits by AJC groups over theyears but having a staffed outpost, as they say in Kentucky, is a "horse of a differentcolor". There were a lot of smiles but suspicion ranked supreme. Many governmentofficials wanted to know if we were coming to "watch them". Some of the top Jewishleaders thought we might be there as the "rich American uncle" to tell them how to runtheir business. Neither was the case but it took some time to establish trustrelationships and get across the real meaning behind AJC's investment (an expensiveone at that) in opening an office. A lot happened in my 2 ½ years in Berlin. The German government moved from Bonn toBerlin and after making all the connections in the Kohl government his party (CDU) gotvoted out and the Social Democratic
 –
Green coalition came in with all new people torelate to. I did a lot of scurrying around.By 1999 almost everyone that counted had been contacted and been made aware of what AJC was all about and it was time for me to go home. God (or some suitablefacsimile) sent Deidre Berger to me as a replacement. By the end of the millennium Iwas able leave with better hands than mine taking care of the store for AJC. The BerlinOffice had become a permanent part of the Berlin landscape.What is it we were trying to do in Berlin? Actually, it became clearer to me as we wentalong. A voice of American Jewry had impact in Germany. It still does. On the other hand, many Germans, I found, were deeply interested in people who were both Jewishand American; a combination almost unknown to the vast majority. We tried to fill in theblanks.
 
3The importance of Germany to Israel and Jewish interests became increasinglyapparent. Its role in Europe was important in 1997. It has become even more vital in2013. AJC has done all it can encourage German leadership to understand the needs of Israel and Jews around the world. Everything we did was aimed in that direction. As a by-product AJC has been able to develop deep and abiding friendships withindividuals and institutions in the Federal Republic. The relationships go far beyond thepolitical. Many of them are genuinely personal. It is of those that I am most proud.In all likelihood the 15
th
anniversary of AJC in Berlin to most was just a nice occasion.
To me it was that something special that does not come down the „pike to a working
Jewish professional all that often. A POLITICAL SETBACK?The next to last State election in Germany before the national election in September took place in late January in
Lower Saxony. {Prior to the election Chancellor Merkel‟s
party, the CDU was partnered with their natural conservative party mates, the FreeDemocrats (FDP). Since the FDP has been so weak in the polls (national and local) itwas expected to be a tough and close election. It was! As it turned out, the combination SPD (Social Democrats) and their partner the Greenswon a one seat victory and therefore will take over the majority position in the Statelegislature. Needless to say, the winners were ecstatic.
Spiegel On-Line 
reported
, “ 
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats suffered a defeat in Sunday's state election in Lower Saxony, depriving her of the boost she had been hoping for ahead of the September general election and indicating that she will have to fight harder for a third term than many had expected.It was the 12th consecutive setback in a state vote for her party, and even though the election is still eight months away and Merkel remains highly popular, the opposition Social Democrats and Greens have smelt blood. They won a combined 46.3 percent against 45.9 percent for the center-right alliance of the CDU and the struggling pro- business Free Democratic Party. That will enable the center-left to govern with a majority of one seat in the Lower Saxony state parliament after the cliffhanger vote."I won't deny it, after such an emotional roller coaster such a defeat is all the more painful, so we are all sad today to some extent," Merkel told a news conference on Monday. But, matter of fact as ever, she shrugged off the implications for her re- election, saying: "We don't have a campaign for the general election, that will come later, we have a whole series of serious problems to solve, the economic situation is fragile, we want to ensure that the labor market situation remains as it is or can even improve a little, we have big tasks in Europe." 

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