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By Jeffrey M. Peck

Germany at the present time boasts the quickest turning out to be inhabitants of Jews in Europe. The streets of Berlin abound with indicators of a revival of Jewish tradition, starting from bagel outlets to the sight of worshipers leaving synagogue on Saturday. With the recent strength infused via Jewish immigration from Russia and adjustments in immigration and naturalization legislation as a rule, Jeffrey Peck argues that we needs to now commence contemplating how Jews dwell in Germany instead of simply asking why they might decide to accomplish that. In Being Jewish within the New Germany, Peck explores the range of modern Jewish existence and the advanced struggles in the community--and between Germans in general--over background, accountability, tradition, and id. He offers a glimpse of an rising, if conflicted, multicultural nation and examines how the advance of the eu group, globalization, and the post-9/11 political weather play out in this context. With delicate, but severe perception into the nation's political and social existence, chapters discover matters akin to the transferring ethnic/national make-up of the inhabitants, adjustments in political management, and American, Israeli, and ecu Jewish relatives with the growing to be Jewish inhabitants in Germany.

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Extra resources for Being Jewish in the New Germany

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Although the racial policies of the Third Reich that extolled an Aryan race were discredited, a more benign notion of at least a homogeneous white and Christian German population remains a pervasive strand in the German postwar narrative. Many of the issues that I will discuss here return to particular assumptions about the definition of a German identity, as it constitutes “others” who may belong to or be excluded from the German nation. Reunification replayed these concerns when East Germans were welcomed as brothers and sisters and then suddenly were unmasked as different versions of their Western German counterparts.

13 Such comparisons were sharply condemned not only by Jewish groups, but also by other religious and ethnic organizations. Bitburg, however, did not, as either Reagan or Kohl might have hoped, succeed in removing the Nazi stain from postwar West Germany ready to celebrate its allegiance to the West, in particular to the United States. Rather, Bitburg became a reminder that historical understanding was still needed, especially by Americans and the president himself. What Jürgen Habermas called the “forced reconciliation” orchestrated in the name of state powers was not to be trusted.

However, the question of a Jewish life in Germany, while it continues to hearken back to its traumatic history, does not preoccupy these Jews as obsessively as it may seem to contemporaries abroad. It might be equally important today, as we all look into the future, to raise some other questions: What does it mean to be a Jew in a respected democratic state such as the Federal Republic and in a Europe that seeks to transform itself into a united body of states that must respect national sovereignties while striving for transnational policies and laws?

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