Topics: Holocaust Survivors: Children of, Jewish Revival, Interviews, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: There are over 50,000 Jews in Germany today. They live there, they work there, they raise families there. Few have German ancestry, more, but by no means all, have German citizenship. For the most part relative newcomers - postwar and to a growing extent, post-Wall arrivals - at first they considered themselves to be in transit, on their way to someplace else. "Sitting on packed suitcases", it was called. But gradually, as second and third generations were born in the country, a change of consciousness took place. The Jews in Germany came to realize that they were around to stay; for better or worse, Germany was their chosen home. In Speaking Out: Jewish Voices from United Germany, twenty Jewish residents of the Federal Republic, most of them prominent in their field, talk about different aspects of Jewish life in the country of the Holocaust, half a century later. Some write directly about their own lives and experiences, others write commentaries, yet others describe situations and institutions. A picture emerges of a complex reality; of the inescapability of the past; of people coming to terms with themselves in an environment they often still find difficult to assess and accept; of a small but vital Jewish community in a state of flux.