Judaism in Germany

34 posts in this topic

I'm not exactly sure how to ask my question but I'm wondering about Judaism in Germany and/or perception of Jews in Germany. 

Antisemitism in the US has been rising and attacks on Jews make up a large percentage of religious-based hate crimes here. I have a lot I could say about antisemitism in the US but I don't want to dwell on that topic.

 

While I can read about this topic in news articles and things, I find that it's too easy to highlight the bad which can create a false assumption about how things really are. 

 

What is the general attitude towards Jews in Germany? Is it generally safe? Are there areas that are less safe? 

 

I do want to say that my interactions with the Germans I know personally (friends, family members, living outside of Germany) who are not Jewish has been very positive and everyone has been super accepting, kind, and even thoughtful. In fact, it's my German friends who have been first to recognize Jewish holidays, for example. So I do have somewhat of a positive view but then I have seen some things in posts and news articles suggesting otherwise...

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57 minutes ago, mlynn said:

I'm not exactly sure how to ask my question but I'm wondering about Judaism in Germany and/or perception of Jews in Germany. 

Antisemitism in the US has been rising and attacks on Jews make up a large percentage of religious-based hate crimes here. I have a lot I could say about antisemitism in the US but I don't want to dwell on that topic.

 

While I can read about this topic in news articles and things, I find that it's too easy to highlight the bad which can create a false assumption about how things really are. 

 

What is the general attitude towards Jews in Germany? Is it generally safe? Are there areas that are less safe? 

 

I do want to say that my interactions with the Germans I know personally (friends, family members, living outside of Germany) who are not Jewish has been very positive and everyone has been super accepting, kind, and even thoughtful. In fact, it's my German friends who have been first to recognize Jewish holidays, for example. So I do have somewhat of a positive view but then I have seen some things in posts and news articles suggesting otherwise...

Just like any other Tom, Dick or Harry with a god fetish. As long as they don´t bother anybody, nobody will bother them.

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Just now, slammer said:

Just like any other Tom, Dick or Harry with a god fetish. As long as they don´t bother anybody, nobody will bother them.

 

I have absolutely no idea what that means. I'm Jewish and am asking for that reason. If I'm going to live somewhere, I generally research the Jewish community in the area so I know that I'll have a community to be a part of but without knowing where in Germany I might live, I'm curious about general attitudes towards Jews in Germany and if that varies at all across the country. 

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There is an active Jewish community in Berlin, in Potsdam rabbis are being trained again.

 

The "House of One" in Berlin will be an inspiring place of worship shared by Jews, Christians and Moslems. Building work has just started.

 

Certainly liberal middle-class urban Germans are well-disposed towards Jews.

 

There are many synagogues, museums, Gedenkstaetten and the like. This year, events have been held to mark 1700 years since the first Jews settled in what is now Germany.

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1 hour ago, slammer said:

As long as they don´t bother anybody, nobody will bother them.

 

That is not true. Antisemitism has been rising again in Germany with a marked increase in the number of incidents reported within the past decade. There is (more or less) a concensus that something must be done to reverse the trend, but there doesn't seem to be any solid plans on how to accomplish it.

 

https://taz.de/Antisemitismus-in-Deutschland/!5769807/

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, mlynn said:

What is the general attitude towards Jews in Germany? Is it generally safe? Are there areas that are less safe? 

 

As soon as you are invisible (no Zizit and Kippah in public view) you are safe. If you publicly display your religion, you can be attacked by some monkeys for no reason. Sad but true: most religious Jews in Germany do not wear a kippah in public (or hide it under the "secular" hat). 

 

In addition, there is "religious neutrality" rule for many public jobs in Germany. That means you cannot take those jobs if you wear a kippah. The idea is that the rule is applied equally to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, but in practice, it targets the latter two groups. 

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2 hours ago, mlynn said:

do want to say that my interactions with the Germans I know personally (friends, family members, living outside of Germany) who are not Jewish has been very positive and everyone has been super accepting, kind, and even thoughtful. In fact, it's my German friends who have been first to recognize Jewish holidays, for example. So I do have somewhat of a positive view but then I have seen some things in posts and news articles suggesting otherwise...

 

You can take out the word "Jewish" and replace it with Blacks, Arabs, Turks, Gays et. al. and your observations would be the same.  Germans and non-Germans have bias' and prejudices like every human on the earth.  You can find examples of both kindness and bigotry if you look for it no matter where.

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12 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

As soon as you are invisible (no Zizit and Kippah in public view) you are safe. If you publicly display your religion, you can be attacked by some monkeys for no reason. Sad but true: most religious Jews in Germany do not wear a kippah in public (or hide it under the "secular" hat). 

 

In addition, there is "religious neutrality" rule for many public jobs in Germany. That means you cannot take those jobs if you wear a kippah. The idea is that the rule is applied equally to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, but in practice, it targets the latter two groups. 

My opinion of religion is the same as sex: do what you want in your house, but keep it there.

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5 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

My opinion of religion is the same as sex: do what you want in your house, but keep it there.

As someone who was born in the state which made the impossible possible: they made a religion out of atheism. No joke, my parents had to study "scientific atheism" at the university, I condemn fundamentalistic secularism just at much as I condemn religion. 

 

Public display of one's religion is no different from public display of one's football team. I hate football, why would I have to know that someone else loves Bayern Muenchen. Because my feelings do not matter. It is the same with religion. Limiting its display does not stop fundamentalism, it actually ignites it. 

 

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37 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

You can take out the word "Jewish" and replace it with Blacks, Arabs, Turks, Gays et. al. and your observations would be the same.  Germans and non-Germans have bias' and prejudices like every human on the earth.  You can find examples of both kindness and bigotry if you look for it no matter where.


This is a nice thought but as someone who has been on the receiving end of antisemitism and homophobia to varying degrees depending on which town or city I lived in, it’s not as easy as just looking for kindness. Some places are much more antisemitic or homophobic or racist than others. So while I get your point, it doesn’t really answer my question. 

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4 minutes ago, mlynn said:

Some places are much more antisemitic or homophobic or racist than others.

 

You will find the same no matter where you go as far as I know.

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45 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

As soon as you are invisible (no Zizit and Kippah in public view) you are safe. If you publicly display your religion, you can be attacked by some monkeys for no reason. Sad but true: most religious Jews in Germany do not wear a kippah in public (or hide it under the "secular" hat). 

 

In addition, there is "religious neutrality" rule for many public jobs in Germany. That means you cannot take those jobs if you wear a kippah. The idea is that the rule is applied equally to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, but in practice, it targets the latter two groups. 


I was not aware of this rule. The only thing that makes me visibly Jewish is the necklace I wear. Once I get to the stage of applying for jobs I’ll have to see if this rule applies.
 

I wonder if there are some parts of Germany that are more accepting or areas that are less so? 

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I think that cities like Berlin are more accepting of Judaism and Homosexuality. The former Eastern Germany less though. 

 

In Berlin there is at least some kind of Jewish infrastructure such as kosher shops and restaurants. But being Jewish in Germany is far from being normal. I guess if you hide your Jewishness it will be ok. And that's a sad thing to say 

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Living in Germany is great overall but there is nastiness and ridicule, in the media too. For example Claus Weselsky of the railmens union is ridiculed for his saechsische accent.

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11 hours ago, mlynn said:

 

I have absolutely no idea what that means. I'm Jewish and am asking for that reason. If I'm going to live somewhere, I generally research the Jewish community in the area so I know that I'll have a community to be a part of but without knowing where in Germany I might live, I'm curious about general attitudes towards Jews in Germany and if that varies at all across the country. 

Not sure that has anything to do with being Jewish, I don´t think anybody will bat an eyelid about a person being jewish. You may get funny looks if you run around in a black coat, dead beaver on your head and dreadlocks, just as a muslim woman in the full bin bag would or like Blackadder´s aunt.
I would say it´s about the strange and alien look instead of antisemitism. Exceptions apply of course, nut jobs are everywhere.

 

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44 minutes ago, slammer said:

I would say it´s about the strange and alien look instead of antisemitism

For me it's about exceptions from the law like that circumcision of newborn boys or killing animals without anesthetizing them beforehand is allowed for religious reasons.

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48 minutes ago, slammer said:

Not sure that has anything to do with being Jewish, I don´t think anybody will bat an eyelid about a person being jewish.

 

Just because you are enlightened, you can't assume that everyone else is.

 

Many Jews have reported being harassed for speaking Hebrew in the streets (read the article to which I linked in my first post) and I don't think it is fair to dismiss their fears as paranoia. 

 

https://m.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/antisemitismus-in-deutschland-angst-ist-ueberlebensnotwendig/25198046.html

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, jeba said:

For me it's about exceptions from the law like that circumcision of newborn boys or killing animals without anesthetizing them beforehand is allowed for religious reasons.

On a point of order, animals aren't anaesthesised before slaughter. They are desensitised/stunned (if they are lucky).

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14 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

Just because you are enlightened, you can't assume that everyone else is.

 

Many Jews have reported being harassed for speaking Hebrew in the streets (read the article to which I linked in my first post) and I don't think it is fair to dismiss their fears as paranoia. 

 

https://m.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/antisemitismus-in-deutschland-angst-ist-ueberlebensnotwendig/25198046.html

 

 

 

Agreed. I would fear for the safety of a Jew wearing traditional garb walking through many areas of German cities. That's just not acceptable.

 

 

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The reason that the Portuguese Muslim community was very well accepted in Portugal was that there were barely any exterior signs of religion. These were people from the colonies and especially from Goa. And contrary to popular belief, modern day Portuguese do not carry crucifix on their necks.

 

In the past 10 years many Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and other places started showing up, with all the associated garments. Result? More intolerance (but no violence).

Of course I'm biased because I'm not religious, but I would prefer a neutral society where religious symbols were just kept at home and temples.

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