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Author(s): Glöckner, Olaf
Date: 2023
Abstract: Our narrative and expert interviews with Jewish and non-Jewish key figures in public and political life mainly focussed on the question of to what extent have Jewish-non Jewish relations changed, compared to the discord prior to 1933, and the general reservation and uncertainty after 1945? We also raised other key questions like: to what extent do Jews in Germany feel integrated into today’s non-Jewish majority society? What do they consider core elements of their Jewish identities? What is the meaning of Israel in their lives as Jews? How do they cope with new trends of antisemitism in Germany? As a complementary question, we wanted to know from our non-Jewish interviewees how different they consider Jewish/non-Jewish relations today? To what extent does Shoah memory (still) affect these relations? How do Jews and non-Jews cooperate in social activities, and are there new, joint strategies to combat antisemitism?

Our interviews revealed that Jews in present-day Germany do not romanticize their lives in the country of the former Nazi regime. However, they appreciate efforts by the state to promote future Jewish life, to carry out dignified politics of commemoration, and to ensure security. Antisemitism is perceived as a societal problem but not as an existential threat. None of the Jewish interview partners considered Germany as a place that is too dangerous for Jews. Memory of the Shoah is considered important, but building a Jewish future, especially for one’s
own children, is the more relevant issue.

A key finding of our interviews in Germany is that a new generation of young Jews has grown up neither justifying living in the “country of the offenders” nor considering themselves representatives of the State of Israel. Young Jews in Germany run their own multifaceted networks, understanding themselves as Jews but to a similar extent also as Germans. Some of them enjoy participation in public and political life, deliberately acting in both roles
Date: 2023
Date: 2015
Abstract: An unexpected immigration wave of Jews from the former Soviet Union mostly in the 1990s has stabilized and enlarged Jewish life in Germany. Jewish kindergartens and schools were opened, and Jewish museums, theaters, and festivals are attracting a wide audience. No doubt: Jews will continue to live in Germany. At the same time, Jewish life has undergone an impressing transformation in the second half of the 20th century– from rejection to acceptance, but not without disillusionments and heated debates. And while the ‘new Jews of Germany,’ 90 percent of them of Eastern European background, are already considered an important factor of the contemporary Jewish diaspora, they still grapple with the shadow of the Holocaust, with internal cultural clashes and with difficulties in shaping a new collective identity. What does it mean to live a Jewish life in present-day Germany? How are Jewish thoughts, feelings, and practices reflected in contemporary arts, literature, and movies? What will remain of the former German Jewish cultural heritage? Who are the new Jewish elites, and how successful is the fight against anti-Semitism? This volume offers some answers.

Table of Contents:

Preface: A Word from the Editors of this Volume - 1

Legacy, Trauma, New Beginning after ‘45: German Jewry Revisited

Michael Wolffsohn: Jews in Divided Germany (1945–1990) and Beyond Scrutinized in Retrospect  13
Michael Elm: The Making of Holocaust Trauma in German Memory: Some Reflection about Robert Thalheim’s Film And Along Come Tourists  31
Julius H. Schoeps: Saving the German-Jewish Legacy?On Jewish and Non-Jewish Attempts of Reconstructing a Lost World  46

Migration as the Driving Factor of Jewish Revival in Re-Unified Germany

Eliezer Ben-Rafael: Germany’s Russian-speaking Jews: Between Original, Present and Affective Homelands  63
Julia Bernstein: Russian Food Stores and their Meaning for Jewish Migrants in Germany and Israel: Honor and ‘Nostalgia’  81
Elke-Vera Kotowski: Moving from the Present via the Past to Look toward the Future: Jewish Life in Germany Today  103
Fania Oz-Salzberger: Israelis and Germany: A Personal Perspective  117

Culture and Arts – Reflecting a New Jewish Presence

Hanni Mittelmann: Reconceptualization of Jewish Identity as Reflected in Contemporary German Jewish Humorist Literature  131
Karsten Troyke: Hava Nagila: A Personal Reflection on the Reception of Jewish Music in Germany  142
Zachary Johnston: Aliyah Le Berlin: A Documentary about the Next Chapter of Jewish Life in Berlin  152

Ghosts of the Past, Challenges of the Present: Germany Facing Old-New Anti-Semitism

Monika Schwarz-Friesel: Educated Anti-Semitism in the Middle of German Society: Empirical Findings  165
Günther Jikeli: Anti-Semitism within the Extreme Right and Islamists’ Circles  188
H. Julia Eksner: Thrice Tied Tales: Germany, Israel, and German Muslim Youth  208

Towards New Shores: Jewish Education and the Religious Revival

Olaf Glöckner: New Structures of Jewish Education in Germany  231
Walter Homolka: A Vision Come True: Abraham Geiger and the Training of Rabbis and Cantors for Europe  244

Authors and Editors  251
Index  254
Names Index  257