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AMERICAN EDITION May 8, 2012 Dear Friends: I waited to put this edition “to bed” until the AJC annual meeting (now called the Global Forum) finished. It was quite an event with 1300 people signed up to attend and quite a few more on hand as visitors. Germany got star billing. Two of its leading government officials, Interior Minister Hans Peter Friedrich and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle gave important addresses. The Westerwelle speech was particularly noteworthy because he clearly laid out Germany’s position on the Middle East. He said, “It is on the firm foundation of remembrance and shared ideals that Germany maintains its unique relationship with the State of Israel. The roots of our relationship lie in the past: Together with Israel we are committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust for future generations and to countering anti-Semitism across the globe. Our relationship is forward looking. Germany and Israel are partners and friends. We are partners and friends because Israel is a vibrant democracy. To this day, Israel is the only full-fledged democracy in the region. I am proud that today German-Israeli ties are closer and stronger than ever. We want to see Israel as a respected neighbor in a Middle East that is finally at peace. And yet the Iranian regime continues to threaten Israel with annihilation. I want you to know that we will continue to stand by Israel's side. We will not remain silent when 1
Israel is threatened or its legitimacy called into question. We will stand up whenever Israel is unfairly singled out in multilateral fora. And we will denounce any incitement against the State of Israel and its right to exist. The current Iranian nuclear program represents an enormous danger. We do not deny or question Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Every claim to the contrary by the Iranian regime is nothing but propaganda. But we cannot and will not accept an Iranian nuclear weapon. It would represent not only a threat to Israel but to the region as a whole. And it would undermine the global non- proliferation regime, a cornerstone of global security. That is why we are investing tremendous efforts into resolving this challenge. Our aim is simple: We need substantive and verifiable guarantees that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon. That is about as clear as it gets. I don’t think anyone could ask for more. Let’s get on with the news… IN THIS EDITION THE ELECTIONS – France and Schleswig-Holstein went to the polls. Neither one came out very well for Chancellor Merkel. Thus far, no one can figure out what happened in Greece. THE GREAT KORAN GIVEAWAY – Giving away religious literature is one thing. If it comes with a political message it’s something else. GERMAN CITIZENSHIP – FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR DESCENDANTS – It’s a hot ticket. 67 years ago no one would have believed it. A PIRATE UPDATE: CAUSE FOR CONCERN? – Even if a few Pirates give up their cutlasses for neo-Nazi politics that’s a problem. GRASS FIRE: STILL BURNING – How could a Nobel Prize winner be so stupid? It took 84 years and more than 60 of them as a hidden Waffen SS member to get where he got. MEIN KAMPF: IT’S BACK! – To book stores and schools across Germany. NEO-NAZIS MOVE WEST – Western Germany catches Nazi bug which was only known in the East. ISRAELIS & GERMANS: A NEW RELATIONSHIP? – They love Berlin. THE ELECTIONS
This past Sunday two elections, one in France, the other in the small German state of Schleswig-Holstein, had a direct effect on the national German political scene. By this time you have already read or heard that France will have a new Socialist president, Francois Hollande. President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel do not come out of the same orientation. Merkel is a genuine conservative who has stressed austerity in order for nations in Europe to save themselves from crushing debt and the financial disasters that the worldwide recession has brought about. On the other hand, according to AP, "Hollande inherits an economy that's a driver of the European Union but is deep in debt. He wants more government stimulus, and more government spending in general, despite concerns in the markets that France needs to urgently trim its huge debt. The two leaders will have to learn to get along with each other in order to prevent an even worse financial disaster. We'll have to wait and see how it goes. The Schleswig-Holstein election is more complicated. From what I can see each of the two largest political parties won a little and lost a little. It appears that the CDU, the Chancellor's party came out with the largest vote and, indeed, their natural partner the business oriented FDP got enough of a vote to stay in the state parliament. However, they did not get enough to continue the coalition they formed to rule since the last election so that coalition has ended. Kaput! The SPD, the other large party (socialist) came in second to the CDU but the final result was very close. They have more of a possibility of forming a coalition with the Greens who did well but not well enough to nail down enough parliament seats to make a two party coalition. They might be able to entice a small local party, the South Schleswig Party to join them and that would be enough for a majority. If that doesn't work there is the possibility of a "Grand Coalition" between the CDU and the SPD. However, at the moment there needs to be a lot of horse trading on jobs and policy so we'll have to wait to see how it all shakes out. Interestingly, the Pirate Party, about whom I have written much, got enough votes to be in the parliament. However, I have not read that any of the large parties want them in a coalition. Maybe they are where I am in trying to understand the Pirates -a state of confusion -- and do not want to chance getting too close to them. However, this is the third state parliament in which they have won seats and, as they say on Broadway, "That ain't chopped liver!". After all is said and done, the result was not a good one for the CDU and the Chancellor. She loses more power in the upper house of the parliament, the Bundesrat which is made up of representatives from the states. However, we're still 16 or 17 months away from the national election so much can happen before then. As far as Greece is concerned, the situation is so muddled and confused it’s hard to figure out the implications for Germany, Israel or the Jews other than the fact that a 3
nationalist party seems to have gained strength. More on it in the next edition. THE GREAT KORAN GIVEAWAY Spiegel On-Line reported, “Salafist Muslims have been handing out free Korans across Germany in recent weeks. But the group's radicalism has many politicians concerned -- as does a recent video posted on You Tube that allegedly threatened journalists who wrote critical reports on the religious offensive. At first glance, the project appears relatively harmless. A Muslim group in Germany has set as its goal the distribution of millions of free Korans, so that the holy book of Islam finds its place in "every household in Germany, Austria and Switzerland," as the project website (German language only) states. For months -- though most noticeably during the recent Easter holidays -- followers of the Salafist imam Ibrahim Abou Nagie have been handing out copies at information stands in city centers across Germany. The group, which calls itself "The True Religion," claims that 300,000 copies have already been distributed. Increasingly, though, skepticism of the project is mounting among leading politicians in Germany, not least because of Nagie's own radical interpretation of Islam. Indeed, last autumn Nagie was indicted for public incitement to commit criminal offenses and for disturbing the religious peace. …the Ulm-based publishing house Ebner & Spiegel (which is not connected to SPIEGEL magazine), which is printing the Korans being handed out across the country, has suspended deliveries and is now examining possibilities for backing out of the contract. The move was a reaction to the growing political debate in Germany focused on the Koran distributions. Although the Salafist info-stands have been making appearances in pedestrian zones of German towns for months, it is only now that politicians of all stripes have begun addressing Nagie's mission. In particular, as many make clear, it is the Salafist movement itself that most find objectionable. Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country's domestic intelligence agency, estimates that there are between 3,000 and 5,000 Salafists in Germany. The Berlin office of the BfV warns that the Salafist ideology is almost identical to that of the al-Qaida terrorist network. More concerning, the group has a growing number of followers in Germany. Furthermore, Arid U., the man who was sentenced to life in prison in February for shooting to death two American servicemen at Frankfurt Airport in 2011, reportedly had ties to Salafism. I’m a little bit on the horns of a dilemma about this matter. Of course, my liberal American point of view is telling me that the distribution of religious books such as 4
the Koran should be allowable in any democracy. If Orthodox Jews handed out Jewish bibles would that be treated in the same way? Of course, if the distribution is accompanied by a message about terrorism or is in some way connected to al-Qaida that is a very different matter. The article does make clear what sort of proof the BfV has about such a connection. Being a Salafist may be one thing, giving out Korans with a political message accompanying them is, in my opinion, something different. I am not a Salafi nor when I started writing this, did I really know what one was. I found out and you can too by clicking here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi In addition (You learn stuff when you read DD), if Jews handed out a Torah in book form rather than a scroll, it is called a “Chumash”. My research turned up the fact that in California there is a Native American tribe called the Chumash People. I don’t think that they played a role in the writing of the Pentateuch but, if they did, they did a pretty good job a few thousand years ago. The New York Times also published a piece on the Koran subject. Click here to read it. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/world/europe/germany-koran-giveaway-worriesofficials.html?_r=2&hp GERMAN CITIZENSHIP – FOR HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR DESCENDANTS In an article I wrote last year I mentioned the fact that more American Jews, if they were related to a Holocaust survivor, could apply for German citizenship. It appears that American Jews are not the only ones. Don Snyder writing in World News on MSNBC reported, “Tens of thousands of Jews are choosing to become German citizens. Unreal? It’s happening. A study at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University study found 100,000 Israelis have German passports. During the Nazi era, the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws stripped Jews of German citizenship. But since May 1949, German law gives Jews who fled Nazi Germany the right to German citizenship, including all their descendants. “This is the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany,” said Emmanuel Nachshon, Deputy Ambassador at the Israeli embassy in Berlin. There are an estimated 15,000 Israelis in Berlin, drawn there to work, study and enjoy Berlin’s intellectual life and cheap rents. “It’s the single most interesting and dynamic city certainly in Europe and perhaps in the world,” said Nachshon. Maya Nathan agrees. The 33-year-old Israeli student with a German passport said “I fell in love with Berlin, its freedom, its great space.”
Nathan is not uncomfortable about living in the country responsible for the Holocaust. “Our family was never anti-German,” she said, adding that she knows Israelis who won’t come to Germany. Nathan, who has been in Germany for two and a half years, is getting a neuropsychology degree at the University of Magdeburg. She plans to remain in Germany. Nadav Gablinger, 39, is a tour guide who has lived in Berlin for 11 years. An Israeli with German citizenship, he and his Israeli wife have two children in German schools. Noting that Holocaust history is everywhere in Berlin, Gablinger says that presentday Germany is a very safe place for Jews. “Today I can say as a Jew, Germany is the safest place in the world,” he says, “Safer than in Israel.” Nachshon speculated that many Israelis hold second passports in case things go wrong in Israel. Increasing numbers of American Jews are also seeking German citizenship. According to German government figures, 3,663 Americans, mostly Jews, acquired German citizenship between 2003 and 2010. German citizenship allows American Jews not only to live and work in Europe, but also access to a free university education. So it could be that some seek German citizenship so they can live and work elsewhere in Europe. “Berlin is becoming one of the most exciting capital cities in Europe, and it exerts a pull,” said Deidre Berger, director of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin. “Many of the new Jewish citizens say they have some history in Germany and they want to discover it.” What more is there to say? Nothing! The facts are the facts. Germany is open to Jews as is no other country in Europe. Some Jews are put off by the immigration and citizenship. Their minds probably cannot (or will not) change. On the other hand, there is a genuine opportunity for the growth of a strong Jewish community in central Europe and it should not be forgotten that Germany is Israel’s best friend on the continent. Let’s see how it develops. A PIRATE UPDATE: CAUSE FOR CONCERN?
I must admit that I still cannot figure out what the newly minted Pirate Party stands for and I’m not the only one. Even those involved in the party are not clear. One thing is for sure and that is, for reasons hard to understand, its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. However, a party with growing popularity but without a real platform seems to me to be right for the picking if infiltrated by a few hardened political operatives with a definite point of view. My internal telegraph machine is tapping out a message telling me, “Start worrying! Further information to follow”. The Local.de reported, “Germany’s nascent Pirate Party has overtaken the Greens to become the nation's third strongest political force, according to a survey published on Tuesday. (Apr. 3) The new figures put the Pirates at 13 percent of the vote, pulling ahead of the Greens’ 11 percent. The survey, conducted by polling firm Forsa for the RTL broadcaster and Stern magazine suggested the struggling Free Democratic Party (FDP) could pull itself over the five percent hurdle needed to enter Parliament. The Pirates unexpectedly got 7.4 percent of the vote in the Saarland state election on March 25, and are expecting to clear the five percent parliamentary entry hurdle in the important North Rhine-Westphalia election in May. “I’m hoping for 6.5 percent,” the vice chairman of the party, Bernd Schlömer, told the WAZ media group, referring to the May 13 vote. But he appeared nonchalant about potential failure, adding “it’s not tragic” if the pirates do not make it into the state parliament in that region – or in Schleswig Holstein, where voters go to the polls on May 6. Meanwhile the party is showing signs that it is affected by internal strife just like any other political group. A number of party members complained that the party was sexist and racist in an open letter published on Sunday evening in Die Welt Online. The letter said a woman was described as being “too pretty” to be taken seriously. Another noted that in a Twitter discussion participants were told that it is okay to be “critical of foreigners.” Aleks Lessmann, a spokesperson, said Monday that every party had a certain percentage of idiots, but it was important that such opinions were not shared by the majority. “In contrast to the established parties we offer every basic member an equal forum.” Due to this openness, such discriminatory opinions “are more recognizable,” he
said. Lessmann said the people who run the national Pirate Party did not want to control what individual party members said. But he added, “The Pirate Party of Germany is clearly and unequivocally for equal rights, integration and a cultural getting along.” O.K. that sounds pretty good. However, there were a couple ugly incidents recently. Y-Net News reported, “A senior member of Germany's Pirates party caused uproar when he compared its meteoric rise to that of Adolf Hitler before 1933. The party ranks third in opinion polls and expected to enter parliament next year. "The ascent of the Pirate Party is proceeding as swiftly as the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party, or Nazis) between 1928 and 1933," Martin Delius told the weekly news magazine Spiegel. Delius, 29, a former software designer, later apologized for his remark and withdrew from an election for the Pirates' executive board, but resisted calls to quit his post in the Berlin city assembly. The Pirates, whose platform is based on internet freedom and more direct participation in politics, won seats in the city government of the capital last September. The party is suspected by police of having links to a small far-right cell that carried out a decade-long murder campaign against immigrants. The cell was exposed late last year. Moreover, the Pirates party suffered the embarrassment of having two members exposed as former members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). The two members resigned late last year, but the Pirate's federal chairman Sebastian Nerz said there were "almost certainly a few more Pirates who used to be NPD." A Pirates party activist recently posted a video on YouTube in which he criticized Poland because the Poles had ordered a general mobilization. Apart from its far-right tendencies, the party has also been accused by other parties of misogyny due to the lack of women members, as well as being devoid of political content. In response to Delius' remarks, Nertz told the Bild, "Everyone should think properly about what he says, about the historical analogies he draws and what effect they may have." But a commentary published by the Bild said parties without an understanding of history had no place in parliament. Other German parties, which viewed the Pirates' ascent with great concern, jumped at the opportunity to discredit it. Claudia Roth, leader of the Greens, who have suffered particularly from the Pirates' success, called the remarks an "outrageous
transgression" that could not be excused by the party's lack of experience. So there you have it. The Pirates, with the kind of funny name, might turn out to be not so funny after all. At best, they are some sort of a fringe grouping but an important one. As to whether they are right or left – or nothing - remains up in the air. However, there is no question that they are a force and are picking up steam – and followers as they go along. If you are interested, Spiegel On-Line published a five part article on the Pirates. You can link to it by clicking here. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,829451,00.html No matter what, they bear watching and we will do just that. GRASS FIRE: STILL BURNING The flap over Günter Grass’ poem which was so critical of Israel, calling it a threat to world peace and Iran, has died down somewhat but it certainly has not ended. According to Haaretz, “Grass, 84, most famous for his 1959 novel "The Tin Drum," denies he is anti-Semitic. He has urged his countrymen for decades to come to terms with their Nazi past, but his moral authority has never fully recovered from his admission in 2006 that he once served in Adolf Hitler's Waffen SS. After the outcry over his poem, entitled "What must be said," Grass said that in retrospect he would have phrased his criticism of Israel differently to make clear he was "primarily talking about the [Netanyahu] government". Grass has said the Nazi past is not an excuse for Germans to refrain from criticizing present Israeli policies - a view endorsed by three quarters of Germans in Sunday's poll who said Israel should be subject to criticism just as any other nation. Nearly one in two Germans believe Iran poses a bigger threat to world peace than Israel, according to a poll on Sunday, disagreeing with renowned German author Gunter Grass whose criticism of the Jewish state triggered an international outcry. Grass's words were also denounced by mainstream political parties in Germany, where any strong condemnation of Israel is taboo because of the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust. The poll, published in Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper along with a lengthy interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, showed 48 percent of Germans thought Iran posed the biggest threat to peace while 18 percent said Israel was. A further 22 percent said Iran and Israel were an equal threat to world peace. The rest of those taking part in the Infratest/DIMAP survey expressed no opinion.
More than half of all those surveyed said they believed Iran's nuclear program posed a threat to Israel. There are many more columns and opinions on the subject but I think you get the drift. Grass certainly has some (I’ll be kind) un-dealt with problems about Israel and probably Jews as well. The German people, to a large degree, do not agree with him. While people’s opinions do change over the years, Grass’ volunteering for the Waffen SS and then hiding the fact for more than 60 years indicate some unresolved questions in his own mind. It is somehow tragic that this cultural icon (and he is a great writer) winds up his life (He is 84) which such devastating black marks on his record. Grass like football coach Joe Paterno at Penn State, will always have a paragraph added to his biography that diminishes and tarnishes all the positive things that he did in his career. Sad! MEIN KAMPF: IT’S BACK! Some months ago a British publisher wanted to bring out a new version of Mein Kampf (I don’t think I have to tell you what that is.). It ran into legal problems because the publishing rights belong to the State of Bavaria. Spiegel On-Line now reports, “The copyright on Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" expires in 2015, after which anyone will be free to republish the infamous tome. Amid fears that neo-Nazis could exploit the text's new availability, the Bavarian government, which holds the copyright, is planning to bring out its own annotated version. An English version and an audio book are also planned. Bavaria has announced it will take its own steps to limit the damage the book might cause. Bavarian science minister Wolfgang Heubisch announced on Monday that the state would publish an annotated version of the book. By including commentaries on the text debunking Hitler's arguments, the state government hopes that readers will not be seduced by the Nazi leader's propaganda.| The state is also planning a version for schools, with notes that are easy for young people to understand. "The expiration of the copyright in three years' time could lead to more young people reading 'Mein Kampf'," Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder said on Tuesday, announcing the decision to publish a school version. Hitler's book still had something "mystical" attached to it, he said, explaining its attraction to young people. The notes on the text would outline "the global catastrophe that this dangerous way of thinking led to," Söder said. In 1945, the copyright fell into the hands of the Bavaria government when the state took over the rights of the main Nazi party publishing house Eher-Verlag as part of the Allies' de-Nazification program. Out of fears that the book could promote neo-
Nazis, the Bavarian Finance Ministry, which controls the copyright, has not allowed "Mein Kampf" to be published in Germany since then, although the book is not officially banned. Several foreign language editions have appeared in the meantime. There is considerable interest in what will happen when the copyright expires in 2015, some 70 years after Hitler's death. In 2010, historians from the Munich Institute of Contemporary History announced they were already working on an annotated version which they hoped to publish when the copyright expired, or even before. You might say, “What’s the big fuss? Mein Kampf is available all over the world.” That’s true. However, when a German edition aimed at students is available, even though it is annotated, there should be, at least, a little concern. It seems to me that the Bavarian authorities are doing the right thing by being pro-active. It’s better to have an annotated edition than one that is not. Of course, as in all school taught subject matter it is the quality of the teaching that is of the greatest importance. I imagine that school administrators all over Germany will have to do a lot of teacher training to make sure that what goes on in the classroom has the proper affect. I assume we’ll be hearing a lot more on this matter as the Bavarians start their project. I’ll keep you informed. NEO-NAZIS MOVE WEST The neo-Nazis in Germany have mostly been a problem for the German eastern states which formally made up East Germany (DDR). A disturbing article in Deutsche Welle indicates that problem has begun to move west into Bavaria and other states that formally made up West Germany. It is a troubling development. While the neo-Nazi movement and its outward political face, the NPD Party, still remain small - well, you know about little acorns. Excerpts from the DW story follow. Since reunification, the prevailing view has been that right-wing extremism is mainly restricted to eastern Germany. But now the number of neo-Nazi offenses is soaring in the west. A new trend? DW takes a look. Herbert Fuehr, an editor with the "Nürnberger Nachrichten" newspaper, says there were over 50 attacks on people and property from November 2011 until April 2012. Fuehr reports critically on right-wing extremist terror which has led to his picture being published on neo-Nazi websites and him being denounced as a troublemaker. It's dangerous to be singled out by the neo-Nazi scene, Fuehr says, adding that he hopes the perpetrators will refrain from publishing his personal address on the Internet. These incidents are not just restricted to Bavaria. "It's getting worse, more brutal and increasingly public," says Michael Helmstedt of the alliance against right-wing
extremism, adding that similar attacks have taken place in other parts of western Germany. Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution puts the number of right-wing extremist offenses at several hundred in the area of Nuremberg alone. Many of the perpetrators aren't even trying to keep a low profile. Michael Helmbrecht and his family were harassed for three days by 250 neo-Nazis who had taken up position on a lawn they had deliberately rented close to his house. The family received comprehensive police protection, and friends moved in with them in a show of solidarity. Experts say right-wing extremism in western Germany is taking on increasingly eastern German patterns: Migrants and people actively fighting right-wing extremism are spied on and targeted. Some families have seen their cars torched several times, says Günter Pierzig, spokesperson of the north Bavarian federation against right wing extremism. The fear of attacks is mounting, for instance in Weißenburg in Bavaria, where a growing number of neo-Nazis are moving to from larger cities. The perpetrators are seldom found. Many citizens turn a blind eye to the neo-Nazi attacks because they are afraid to end up on the target list themselves. Although the police are trying hard to pinpoint the perpetrators, many victims feel left in the lurch by the state. I am sure that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (sort of like our FBI) is following this development closely. However, with economic problems and fewer jobs (even in Germany) the situation might get worse. Not a happy thought. We’ll follow it and keep you advised. ISRAELIS & GERMANS: A NEW RELATIONSHIP? We have heard and read a lot over the years about the “formal’ relationship(s) between Israel and Germany. Reparations, the purchase of submarines, joint cabinet meetings, etc. The list goes on and on. However, we rarely hear about the personal kinds of relationships. How do these people with very different histories deal with each other on a person to person basis? Whatever it has been it seems to be changing. De Spiegel recently published an article entitled, “Young Israel’s New Love Affair with Israel”. It notes, “Something has changed about the way Israelis and Germans interact, far removed from the endless German debates in which old men wrestle with their ghosts and politicians struggle to perform the mandatory rituals: the obligatory visit to Yad Vashem here, the obligatory visit to Dachau there. For quite
some time now, there's been a new Israeli-German reality beyond the routine of shock and dismay -- primarily in Israel. Nearly 70 years after the Holocaust, the last survivors are passing away, and this is changing how younger Israelis view Germany. Relatively free of historical taboos, they are redefining what this country means to them. This new generation no longer finds it odd that a company like Birkenstock promotes its products in Israel with "Made in Germany," and a short trip to Berlin is the most normal thing in the world. For them, Germany is not just a country like any other -- it also happens to be one of their favorites. It mainly has to do with a feeling, a new Israeli self-assurance vis-à-vis Germany, one characterized by curiosity and a yearning for discovery. Young Israelis no longer insist on constant remembrance but, rather, on the right to be allowed to forget sometimes. The sheer scale of this transition is perhaps best expressed in figures: Two years ago, one-quarter of all Israelis were rooting for Germany to win the soccer World Cup. In a survey conducted in 2009, 80 percent of all respondents qualified IsraeliGerman relations as normal, and 55 percent said that anti-Semitism was no worse in Germany than elsewhere in Europe. Some 100,000 Israelis now hold German passports, and 15,000 are thought to be living in Berlin. The number of direct flights between the countries increases every year, yet the aircraft are nearly always fully booked. In the large cities, it's almost impossible to find a young Israeli who hasn't been to Germany or doesn't want to go there. They are especially drawn to Berlin. The city from which the Final Solution was once managed now lures Israelis with its cheap rents and the promise of life in an exciting city that never sleeps. But Berlin is more than just the latest New York. It's a stage on which they can role play and explore their senses of belonging and identity -- a kind of what-if game: What if I had been born in Germany? Who would I be? What would my life be like today? It goes without saying that this new relationship is not without its problems. Not everything is rosy, of course, and not all is forgiven and forgotten. There are still 17year-olds with German roots who shudder with shame when the Holocaust is covered in school. There are others who swear they'll never set foot in Germany. Remembering the Holocaust is the guiding principle of their lives, said 98 percent of Jewish Israelis in a recent survey. And when the Israel Chamber Orchestra played a piece by Richard Wagner last year at the festival in Bayreuth devoted to the German composer, it sparked an uproar back in Israel. But it can actually be seen as a sign of change -- and not so much a sign of persistence: A symbolic act of resistance from the older generation, which is ill at ease with the relaxed attitude of today's youth.
There is much more to the article which can be accessed by clicking here. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,828302-2,00.html There is little doubt that as the Holocaust passes into the background and Holocaust survivors pass on, the feelings and thoughts of younger people are just not charged with the same anger, hostility, and feelings of horror that older people have internalized. In addition, Israel, unlike the U.S. is almost a European country. Israeli youngsters do not feel as removed as do young American Jews arriving in Germany. Time marches on and so do the feelings of the new generations. *********************************************************************************************** See you again in about a month. I’ll be in Germany from May 16th to the 27th. DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted by clicking here Both the American and Germany editions are posted at www.dubowdigest.typepad.com Click here to connect
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