Taking note of the rash of anti-Semitic incidents that have recently plagued Berlin, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany has publicly expressed serious doubts about the future of Jews in her country.
Charlotte Knobloch – a native of Munich who survived the Holocaust – wrote an op-ed article in a German newspaper that served as a reflective commentary on the latest round of troubling events. These include a judicial ban on circumcision and arrests of rabbis who were discovered to still be performing the ancient Jewish rite; the vicious attack on Rabbi Daniel Alter and accompanying threats to kill his six-year-old daughter; and the incident at a Chabad school wherein 13 female students were the victims of anti-Semitic taunts by girls from a nearby public school.
In her opinion piece, Knobloch wrote that German Jews are in as difficult a situation as they were in 1945, when World War II ended and the country’s severely decimated Jewish population was uncertain about the feasibility of remaining in the land that birthed the Holocaust. Knobloch feels that German Jewry never fully recovered from the events that wiped out six million European Jews.
“In my nightmares I never thought that a short time before my eightieth birthday I would ask myself if I’d survived the murder of the Jews, to experience this,” Knobloch wrote. “For six decades I’ve had to explain why I stayed in Germany – like a sheep amongst wolves. I always carried this burden because I was convinced that this country and its people were worthy. For the first time, my faith is starting wane….I ask myself seriously, if this country still wants us.”
The German Jewish leader further said that – while she has defended her country over the past six decades – she now has doubts about her past actions in this regard. “I am no longer willing to take part in this fraudulent discourse, which portrays a new, rejuvenated, and blossoming Judaism in Germany,” Knobloch stated, “which gives the German people that feeling that time heals even the greatest wounds. The fact is, German Jewry never overcame the Holocaust.”
The tense atmosphere has become so critical that the Orthodox Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam has recommended to its students that they do not wear their yarmulkes in public, but rather, “something inconspicuous with which to cover their heads.”
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