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Where do we fit?

"Are Jews White?" - The Atlantic takes on the question of what a post-election America with people like Stephen Bannon in high offices will look like for the Jewish community.

From the article:

These are rough sketches of two camps, concentrated at the margins of U.S. political culture. On the extreme right, Jews are seen as impure—a faux-white race that has tainted America. And on the extreme left, Jews are seen as part of a white-majority establishment that seeks to dominate people of color. Taken together, these attacks raise an interesting question: Are Jews white?

“Jewish identity in American is inherently paradoxical and contradictory,” said Eric Goldstein, an associate professor of history at Emory University. “What you have is a group that was historically considered, and considered itself, an outsider group, a persecuted minority. In the space of two generations, they’ve become one of the most successful, integrated groups in American society—by many accounts, part of the establishment. And there’s a lot of dissonance between those two positions.” 

Read the full discussion here:

Mosaic Magazine - On the Jews who stayed in Europe

"Among the findings: more than one in four Jews report experiencing anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the twelve months preceding the survey; one in three have experienced such harassment over the past five years; just under one in ten have experienced a physical attack or threat in the same period; and between two-fifths and one-half in France, Belgium, and Hungary have considered emigrating because they feel unsafe.

Germans and Jews

I wanted to share an article in the Jewish Standard about a new film, “Germans & Jews,” (trailer above!) by Janina Quint and Tal Recant. It focuses on the stories of people who went back to Germany after the war. I completely relate to the misgivings they talk about. For me, it is still difficult to think of a modern Germany separate from the one my father escaped. On the other hand, I also see parallels to the historical situations of people in my project, like Heinrich Heine. For Heine, his love of German culture trumped the anti-Semitism that brought constant rejection from the institutions he hoped to join. I think there might be a similar situation with Jews who return to Germany. It is still their country, and the country of their ancestors, despite all the horrific things that were done to them and their families.

(The article's title picture of Fritz Stern, from the movie, is taken in the same chair that he sat in, when I visited with him!)

"As far as cinema goes, my understanding of Germans and Jews changed after seeing “Nowhere in Africa,” the 2001 Academy-Award-winning German film about an upper-middle-class family’s time in exile in Africa during the Holocaust. The film concludes at the war’s end, with the family returning to Germany. How could a Jew possibly go back to Germany after losing parents and siblings in the Shoah? The next shock came when I learned that a Jewish classmate, who had received a graduate Jewish studies degree, married a non-Jewish German. Her parents were German Jews. What was she thinking? What drew her and her husband together? Then, in screening the film “The Flat,” I learned that an Israeli couple who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s returned each year after the war for a visit to Germany. They came back so they could vacation with good friends, one of whom had held a high position in the SS hierarchy. Arnon Goldfinger tells that story about his grandparents in his 2011 film, a documentary where he examines that strange relationship.''

Read more: Germans and Jews | The Jewish Standard 

The movie's official site: