EJ: Germany: New Home for Russian Jews

"A wave of Russian Jewish immigrants arrived in Germany after reunification 20 years ago, reviving Germany’s Jewish community. But it was also a challenge to the Jews already living in the country. After World War Two, only a small Jewish community remained in Germany. Memories of the Holocaust were fresh and vivid. Only very gradually did the Jews begin to regard Germany as their home again. The massive influx of Russian Jews was a shock for them. The newcomers spoke a different language and had a different culture. And the Russian Jews didn’t regard Germany as the land of Nazi perpetrators; they saw it, instead, as a country of benefactors: there were language courses, occupational retraining, generous social welfare, and after seven years German citizenship. The contrasting attitudes of long-settled and immigrant Jews led to tensions. Jews in Germany are only gradually finding a common identity."

URL: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5435448,00.html


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