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DuBow Digest American Edition August 14, 2011(3)

DuBow Digest American Edition August 14, 2011(3)

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Published by Eugene DuBow
A newsletter on American Jewish - German relations
A newsletter on American Jewish - German relations

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Published by: Eugene DuBow on Aug 14, 2011
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08/14/2011

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AMERI CAN EDITIONAugust 26, 2011Dear Friends:If you can rip yourself away from watching the ups and downs of the stock market for a few moments there are some things going on out there in terms of German –American Jewish relations that may not be of such immediate importance but,nonetheless, are of notable consequence for the future of the Jewish people.At the moment Germans are also wrapped up in thinking about the world economy.However, they are mostly focused on whether their EU neighbors will bring down theEuro by continuing to be very deep in debt without the will to do anything about it.Supporting and bailing out the poor relatives is no fun.A small damper on Germany’s current good economic situation came about recentlywhen the energy giant E. ON Corporation announced the layoff of 11,000 workers.In addition the German stock market is not immune from the recent devastation of the American market or, for that matter, those of the other Euro countries.To Germans, like most Americans, but to even a greater degree, the month of August means “Urlaub” (vacation). Given that most Germans get 6 weeks of vacation a year, August means that much of the country is “away”. Telephone callsare not answered and e-mails not opened. Even so, life goes on.BTW, there is a new German Ambassador in Washington, Peter Amman. You canread about him by clicking here.http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/01__Embassy/Washington/02/01/Amb__ Ammon__CV.html On to the news…IN THIS EDITIONTHE WALL: 50
th
ANNIVERSARY – The Berlin Wall was built 50 years ago. It stillexists in German minds.GEMANIZING ISLAM – Is there a way for Islam to become a genuine part of Germany?GERMAN SENSITIVITY & A GOEBBEL’S PHRASE – Has German sensitivity toWorld War II disappeared? Hardly!THE PALESTINIANS, THE UN & GERMANY – In the statehood scramble Germanymay (“may” that is) play an important role.1
 
SIX AMBASSADORS SPEAK UP – Israel’s friends put it on the line.BAN THE RIGHT? HOW ABOUT THE LEFT? – The desire to ban extreme politicalparties seems to be “in” this year.COLOGNE’S JEWISH PAST – A new museum. A different view of Jews inGermany.BAMBOOZLED! – Hey! Neo-Nazis! Be careful what you purchase – Or, don’t washwhat you buy!THE WALL: 50
th
ANNIVERSARYAugust 13
th
marked the 50
th
anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall.
The New York Times
reported, “
The Berlin Wall's construction 50 years ago must bea constant reminder to citizens today to stand up for freedom and democracy, thecity's mayor said Saturday as a united Germany commemorated the bitter anniversary.Seeing Berlin divided by the wall tore apart the country as well as separating thecity's streets, neighbors and families, Mayor Klaus Wowereit said at a televised ceremony."It is our shared responsibility to keep the memory alive and to pass it on to thecoming generations as a reminder to stand up for freedom and democracy to ensurethat such injustice may never happen again," Wowereit said.The country was then divided for 28 years. Hundreds of east Germans werearrested while trying to flee to democratic Western Germany and at least 136 werekilled trying to cross the wall.” 
Peter Schneider, a noted German writer also writing in the
NY Times stated, “It will take a generation before the “wall in the mind” is overcome, but the process is under way. It is not merely about Westerners bringing Easterners into the fold; there is alsowhat I call the “Easternization” of the West going on.Consider the career of Angela Merkel, a scientist from the East who became our first female chancellor. She did so not just by mastering the Western political structure,but in part by surreptitiously replanting left-wing, “Eastern” values — like social  justice — in the garden of her party, the conservative Christian Democrats, and elevating their importance among the country as a whole.
2
 
It is fitting that Mrs. Merkel should be doing her political gardening in Berlin. Beforethe wall fell, it was nearly the only place where one could still feel the divisionbetween East and West. In the 20 years since, it has become the best place towatch that division disappear.” 
From a Jewish perspective the Wall made a tremendous difference. Likewise, itsdisappearance. When it went up the small Jewish communities in East Germany(DDR) were totally removed from those in the West. (FRG). Neither grew very muchat all, however, those in the West did have connections with Israel and the other countries in the West. The tiny number of Jews in the DDR remained pretty muchisolated.The disappearance of the Wall and the DDR as well changed things dramatically.The West Berlin Jewish community swallowed up that in the East. Once Jewsstarted arriving in Germany (early 1990’s) some of the minute communities in theEast gained new members and survive to this day. The larger communities in theWest have grown larger yet. The total number of Jews in Germany (overall) hasgrown from 28,000 in 1989 when the Wall came down to probably over 200,000today. Estimates as high as 250,000 are heard today.
 
The disappearance of the Walltotally changed and re-energized Jewish life in Germany.
 
GEMANIZING ISLAMNo, I haven’t got it backwards. There is indeed an effort afoot to get Islamic leadersin Germany to better understand the country in which they live and to incorporatewhat they learn into their teaching and preaching in the Federal Republic’s mosques..James Angelos writing in
The Wall Street Journal (reprinted in Terminal X, an Arabwebsite),
notes,
“Having given birth to the Protestant Reformation and the current  pope, Germany is now at the fore of a broad effort to foster a European theological tradition for a relative newcomer: Islam.In a brightly lit university classroom in this small northwestern German city (Osnabrueck), some 30 German mosque leaders are participating in a government-backed course in inter-religious understanding. The experiment, one of many acrossthe Continent, covers subjects ranging from the Reformation to the Germanconstitution.Much of the resurgent popularity of Europe's far right in recent years has beenfueled by populist fears that the rise of immigration in Europe—particularly in Muslimcommunities that remain connected to their native languages and cultures—iswashing away European or national cultural identities.
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