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The Jews in Contemporary Germany



     The composition of the Jews in Germany has changed. Few of the pre-war population remained. One was Estrongo Nachama, who survived Auschwitz, and was restored to good health by a Christian family and became Berlinīs chief cantor. He has defended Christians against Jewish criticism and attended Christian meetings. He died in January, 2000. He was born in Salonika of a Greek Jewish family. It is not clear to me if it was Sephardic, as most of those Jews were. The few remaining German Jews did not raise the question.
     The problem arises from the thousands of Eastern Jews who have poured into Germany. Whereas the German Jews had been assimilated into the national life, the Eastern Jews had not, allegedly of their own volition, according to the non-Jews of Eastern Europe. The German Jews spoke excellent German, while the Eastern Jews, whom they disdained, spoke at best Yiddish. Most of these had lost their Jewish faith. Now greatly outnumbered by them, the German Jews resent them, especially as, coming with few skills, they depend mostly on welfare.
     One reason for Hitler's anti-Semitism was German fear of the Soviet Union, whose Communist Party, unlike that of Germany, was largely Jewish. Now, with fears of a revival of Nazism in Germany, it is hard to say how this will play out.

Ronald Hilton - 2/13/00


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