Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back to Germany?

Quite a few decades ago, when I was a teen with a fresh new driver's license, I tried to convince my parents to get a third car.

"We could fit three of those little Volkswagens in the same space (our tiny driveway) as the two cars we now have," I told them.

"We're not buying German cars," they replied firmly!
That was the standard feeling among American Jews in the 1960's.

Things have sure changed. According to this little piece in Newsweek:
April 2, 2007 issue - Historic Revival
Once haunted by memories of the Holocaust, Berlin has become one of the most Jewish-friendly places on the planet. The German capital boasts an annual Jewish film festival and Jewish culture festival, while performances of Jewish plays attract regular audiences at the Bamah Jewish Theater. Visitors can view exhibits on emigration at the Jewish Museum; the music-minded can take in klezmer concerts performed by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Germans are also studying the history of their country's Jews. But it's not all about the Holocaust. "Students want to learn about the empty [cultural] space once occupied by Jews in German society," says Michael Brenner, a professor of Jewish studies at Munich University. "Not about the destruction itself, but about what was destroyed."

Feeling more at home than ever before, American Jews are now moving en masse to the hip German capital. (Estimates show that between 10 and 20 percent of the 12,000 Americans living in Berlin are Jewish.) Even U.S. novelist Jonathan Safran Foer is there, writing a new English version of the Haggadah, the ancient Jewish text on the Exodus. "I like the way the city feels," he says. Evidently, he's not the only one.
-Michael Levitin


A Simple Jew said...

I still don't buy anything made in Germany...

Batya said...

me, too
It was one of the great traumas/disapointments when I came to Israel to see all the German products.

ziontruth said...


"Once haunted by memories of the Holocaust, Berlin has become one of the most Jewish-friendly places on the planet."

Yes... until the Muslims become the majority.

"Berlin is Jerusalem", said the 19th-century assimilating Jews of Germany. We all know where that ended.

Jerusalem is Jerusalem. The Zion that makes the word, "Zionism".

Batya said...