Judaism in Germany

34 posts in this topic

I'd say big cities in western Germany should be fine. It's possible that if you walk through neighborhoods where people are predominantly Muslim, you might get looks if what you wear around your neck prominently displays your belief, but otherwise I don't think it would be too bad.

 

I have darker skin especially in summer, and I have for the last few years only shaved my face once a month or so, so I do sport a lot of facial hair most of the time. Though I don't go out THAT much, I have not really felt like people are starting or wary of my appearance in Frankfurt or other big cities (in western Germany), or even in smaller ones. My in laws apparently think I need to shave because I look like a T-word (no, not a tit), haha but they live in a bubble.

 

I understand antisemitism is considered a specific form of bigotry, and given Germany's history with Jews, I get that right wing ass hats would target Jews in particular, so maybe stay away from rural eastern Germany (so, don't leave Berlin :)

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I have a couple of Jewish colleagues , one of them recently moved from israel and do not speak german at all. They are happy.

But for some reason he told that he will never live in the town whose name is Spich 

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In our town the synagogue was re-built and there is official happiness that it is a place where Jews can live in safety and harmony, but at the same time, one of the Hauptschulen had some derogatory 'Juden' graffiti up the side for quite some time, and the Jewish cemetery was vandalised, which I suspect is not unusual - theoretically all is good, but on the ground, there are malcontents who like to prey on 'others' and the Jews are firmly in that category.

 

There isn't going to be an answer for the whole of Germany - apart from - if you are invisible, all will likely be well.

How rubbish is that.

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8 minutes ago, kiplette said:

... theoretically all is good, but on the ground, there are malcontents who like to prey on 'others'...

 

I think this hits it nicely on the head. You don't have to be specifically Jewish, just an outsider. Bigoted undercurrents run strong if you listen closely. I doubt you will be actively victimised or subject to violence, but exclusion and discrimination can be passive and (un)subtle. It's impossible to quantify.

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14 hours ago, mlynn said:


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? 

 

The "rule" alluded to here is mostly about jobs facing the public  for government, city etc (think teachers employed by public schools etc.). For what it's worth, I've seen nurses in in City hospitals wearing a white Muslim head scarf with no trouble. I've also seen quite a few Stars of David on necklaces, and nobody ever commented.

No "rule" about religious dress (as in much more than a necklace) at regular companies as far as I know.

 

Now, in Munich we have an active synagogue and two congregations - the older Orthodox  and fairly new Reform one.

The Orthodox Jews sometimes appear in public in full religious dress, as in men with pejes, zizit, black suit and women wearing wigs (head shaved) and somewhat dowdy dresses. But not a lot.

Most Jews in Munich just wear pendants and the occasional kipa without trouble.

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4 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Maybe don't wear the necklace to job interviews but later after you have secured a job. Just in case.

 

You could do that.

FWIW, it's forbidden by German law to discuss touchy subjects religion, gender issues, pregnancy etc. in a job interview, so the employer won't ask, either.

In addition, new laws against discrimination and harassment at the workplace have recently been passed. I should know, we all got training for that. :)

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As for bad regions in Germany, well... to kinda avoid the parts of former East Germany (especially outside of cities) would be a good idea.

But German right wingers are way more interested in harassing Muslims just now.

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I think it really sucks that you feel you have to ask this question. 

But it is good that you are asking it. 
Depending on how religious you are, you might want to look at an area that has an active Jewish community. Though there seem to be pretty big differences between synagogues depending on the conservativeness of the congregation. 

In general, it might not be so much of which part of Germany, but actually which part of the city you end up in that might cause problem. There are parts of Berlin where I wouldn't send a person in orthodox garb on foot. But mostly it's fine. 

The Jewish community in different cities would probably be the best source of info. 
Tbh, I think most people probably would not recognize the religious significance of a necklace unless it is a cross or a star of David. At least I wouldn't. And even then it could still be a fashion choice of an agnostic/atheist/oblivious teenager etc. :D

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16 hours ago, mlynn said:


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. 

 

I think you are looking for justification, not answers.

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6 hours ago, jubinjohn said:

I have a couple of Jewish colleagues , one of them recently moved from israel and do not speak german at all. They are happy.

But for some reason he told that he will never live in the town whose name is Spich 

 

Spich? I live in Troisdorf and this is a Stadtteil of the town. Pretty surprised to read your comment. Troisdorf has a high level of immigration in general. If this was the reason for ruling out Spich, then you have to rule out lots of other areas of NRW too. To name just one area is pretty bizarre and a little naive.

 

My view for what its worth: anti-Semites, racists, homophobes are in the minority in Germany. This makes them carry out their crimes where the likelihood of getting caught or themselves getting attacked is low..they are opportunistic. The sad fact is attacks can happen anywhere. 

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2 hours ago, pmd said:

 

Spich? I live in Troisdorf and this is a Stadtteil of the town. Pretty surprised to read your comment. Troisdorf has a high level of immigration in general. If this was the reason for ruling out Spich, then you have to rule out lots of other areas of NRW too. To name just one area is pretty bizarre and a little naive.

 

My view for what its worth: anti-Semites, racists, homophobes are in the minority in Germany. This makes them carry out their crimes where the likelihood of getting caught or themselves getting attacked is low..they are opportunistic. The sad fact is attacks can happen anywhere. 

I thought some Hebrew speakers are going to comment on this. Spich in Hebrew sounds similar to a word which means something gross 😁. No anti-Semitism involved

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16 minutes ago, jubinjohn said:

I thought some Hebrew speakers are going to comment on this. Spich in Hebrew sounds similar to a word which means something gross 😁. No anti-Semitism involved

 

Ah, it was a joke? Sorry, I took your comment at face value. Glad to hear it wasn't something  that they had experienced there.

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