Posts Tagged ‘interfaith dialogue’

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New Jewish Newspaper Launches in Germany

November 16, 2011

A new Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Voice From Germany, will be launched in Germany beginning next year. The English-language quarterly will be published in Berlin starting in January 2012 by novelist and political commentator Rafael Seligmann with an initial circulation of 25,000.

In his welcoming message, Seligmann writes: “There is a revival of Jewish life in Germany. But […] little is known about the fertile German-Jewish relations.”

“Germany is politically and economically one of Israel’s most reliable and important partners. A communication-bridge is missing between German-speaking countries and the influential Jewish communities in the U.S., Canada, GB and Israel. Jewish Voice From Germany will forge this missing link. [It] supplies information and provides commentaries for disseminators in economics, politics, sciences and arts. Our paper will help revive German-Jewish relations and voice mutual interests.”

If you wish to subscribe to the publication, please send your address to:  info@jewish-voice-from-germany.de.

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Research Project: 3rd Generation German Jewish Interpersonal Relationships

September 12, 2011

Here is a query from a reader. Please reply to her directly or comment to this post.

My name is Charla R. Malamed. I am a doctoral student at Derner Institute, at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York.

I am currently conducting a research project, in which I am interested in learning about the transmission of Holocaust WWII experience across the generations, and about how that experience influences the individual’s relationships with the self and with others, specifically with a German/Jewish individual (German non-Jewish, if the individual is Jewish; Jewish, if the individual is German non-Jewish).

I want to understand how cultural and familial memory of the Holocaust influences the development of the self and the ways in which an individual is able to relate to the ‘other;’ that is, how has the Holocaust affected Jewish/German non-Jewish relations today, in the 3rd generation?

To be eligible to participate, you must:

(1) Be a  grandchild of a someone who lived during the Nazi regime in one of the Nazi-occupied territories

(2) have had, or currently have, a meaningful and ongoing relationship with a German non-Jewish individual (if you are Jewish) or a Jewish individual (if you are German and non-Jewish).

Anyone who is interested will be asked to participate in a 75-90 minute interview, as well as complete a pencil-and-paper questionnaire. All the information resulting from this research will be anonymous.

Charla Malamed

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3rd Generation Dialogue

April 18, 2011

Here is a query that I received from two readers. Please respond directly to them:

Hello,

We are beginning a project that we believe might be interesting to you. Our intent is to bring together 3rd generation (grandchildren) of victims and perpetrators of the WW2 Holocaust such as Jews, homosexuals, sympathizers, Nazi, SS, Polish, Vichy, etc. We wish to create a safe, open space to inclusively listen and experience each other’s stories of growing up and living with family members who lived during the Nazi period. This space will be open in many ways and might include modes of expression that go beyond words, like movement, free association, and expressive theater.

We will use questions about our formative experiences with family, in school, and with friends to structure the circle.
Questions might look like the following:

  • When did you first learn about the Holocaust?
  • What ideas do I have about my own community and about the ‘others’ community?
  • What do we know about our own historical links to the Holocaust?
  • What was it like to be a grand-daughter of a Nazi soldier or a survivor?
  • What is guilt, what is forgiveness, what is reconciliation?
  • What do you feel when you meet a German/Jew?
  • What is the role of commemoration?

We ask that all participants hold the intention to go beyond blame. We hope that in experiencing the stories of each other, we will begin to build a shared experience, one which struggles to move beyond the conventional notions of the ‘other’ with which most of us have been raised. Meetings will be facilitated and will follow guidelines to maintain structure, confidentiality and the emotional safety and stability of the circle. The purpose of the group is not to debate or argue historical facts, but rather to encounter each other and listen deeply to each other’s stories and truths. Participants must be committed to a self-transformative process.

At this stage, we call for all those interested to write in with a short statement including an introduction, your relation to the Holocaust, and your intent for joining. Once we gather a solid group we will announce our first meeting. If you know of others that are linked historically to the Holocaust and might be interest, please send this invitation along.”

Rami Efal and Charla Malamed, Charlarubym@gmail.com

http://3rdgenerationnyc.blogspot.com/

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Sugar Cones and Bittersweet Memories

October 20, 2010

German-Jews in exile, who fled Germany to escape the Holocaust, shared many memories of their childhood. They remembered friends, the language spoken and the foods they ate. They remembered bullying, being cast aside, harassed or worse.

But childhood memories were also filled with warmth, of remembering a first day in school. German school children carry cardboard cones, filled with sweets and little treats, to their first day in school. The so-called Schultüten are a century-old tradition. There’s not a child in Germany, then or now, that has not carried his or her precious load to school.

That old tradition that unites all school children led to the idea to launch a unique remembrance project, initiated by Carolyn Naumann and co-organized by the Anne-Frank-Zentrum and the Humboldt University in Berlin:  “The sugar cone project” — a collection of photographs of  German Jewish schoolchildren just before they fled Nazi Germany into exile and their stories of life before the war. The idea for the project was born while Naumann accompanied German Jewish refugees on their federally funded visit to their hometown, Berlin, where they shared such childhood memories as standing side-by-side with their non-Jewish school friends, all proudly displaying their cones. (In the picture, the brochure of the project, showing Heinz Goldstein on the left with an unknown friend, ca. 1935, in the Jewish Elementary School Fasanenstrasse in Berlin).

The collection of pictures showing six-years-olds and their sugar cones — just before they were deemed unfit to stay (or were sent to their death) — can help school children of today understand the realities of that time, the brutality of daily struggles, when people were clinging to even a sliver of normalcy.

If you have photos of that time, showing Jewish schoolchildren with their sugar cones, or would like to share your story, please contact Carolyn Naumann, who is also searching for teachers that are interested in the project and would like to help.

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A Question Of Guilt

January 31, 2010

I am a Christian, and I have wondered why more Christians were not aware of the Holocaust and what was happening to their Jewish friends.

We did have a service in about 1998 at a Temple, giving the Swedish people thanks for taking in refugees, coming from Denmark by boat, and giving them safety.

— Sonja


Sonja, too many Christians were aware of what happened to the Jews during the Holocaust. Some of them tried to help, some church groups and priests even worked underground in the resistance — but the majority kept silent.

The official policy of the church, and the Pope, was to support Hitler or to look the other way. And don’t forget that many people were too afraid to speak up because the Nazi regime was a brutal dictatorship.

Regardless, no one should have voluntarily helped the Nazis; but too many did. Many Christians held anti-Semitic beliefs themselves: They had been indoctrinated over centuries by the church that “the Jews had killed Jesus.”

I am glad that you ask questions. It is important to remember the past. That is our duty. Keep asking questions and you’ll find many answers. And maybe you can ask a Holocaust survivor to provide you with a personal picture of how life was like back then. Become his/her witness.

— Tekla Szymanski