Manual German City, Jewish Memory: The Story of Worms

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Volume Nils Roemer. Lynn Rapaport. Oxford Academic.

Glimpses of Jewish Life before the Holocaust

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Brenner on Roemer, 'German City, Jewish Memory: The Story of Worms' | H-Judaic | H-Net

Don't have an account? American Historical Association members Sign in via society site. While Chabad has ordained Orthodox rabbis in Berlin since the Holocaust, none had received their training in Germany. There are Jewish congregations in Germany, but only twenty have full-time rabbis. Two of the newly ordained Reform rabbis plan to stay in Germany. In March , Peter Feldmann was elected as mayor of Frankfurt and became the first Jew to hold the position since the Holocaust. Feldmann , who ran as a member of the Social Democratic Party, ran on a platform that advocated social reform but also confirmed that he is a strong advocate of Israel's security and a supporter of Frankfurt-Tel Aviv relations.

Frankfurt previously had one Jewish mayor, Ludwig Landmann, who was in office for nine years until the Nazis came to power in The synagogue was partially wrecked and badly damaged by fires on Kristalllnacht and completely demolished by bombing planes in After the destruction of World War 2 however the German government restored the synagogue and it now serves as not only a place of worship but also a memorial and museum to German Jewish life in the pre-World War 2 period.

The building is also used as the office building for the Berlin Jewish Community. Currently Berlin houses the largest concentration of Jews in Germany, with about 50, Jews calling the city home in Holocaust memorial on the site of what was the Jewish cemetary in Berlin. The memorial consists of a Field of Stelae covering an area of 19, square meters and containing 2, concrete blocks together with an information center.

The exhibition about the persecution and extermination of the European Jews and the historical crime sites was designed by Dagmar von Wilcken and attracts nearly half a million visitors each year. This funding increase will allow survivors to recieve more frequent and better quality home care, food support, transportation and medical services.

German Stoplersteines. Throughout Germany there are large bronze plaques, artfully engraved with names and stories of individuals who perished at the hands of the Nazis. These are known as "Stolpersteine," literally translated to "stumbling blocks". These plaques are carved and engraved by hand by German artist Gunter Demnig who began the project in Each begins with the words "Here lived They are embedded in the sidewalks outside of the last known residences of individuals and minorities who were persecuted during the Holocaust.

Not all communities have embraced these small memorials though, and towns such as Villingen have refused to allow these privately funded memorials to be displayed on public property. The town council has rejected proposals for the installation of the Stolpersteines in and again in , and the 19 Stolpersteines that were created to commemorate the citizens of the village murdered during the Holocaust collect dust in the home of a local teacher.

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Throughout the post-war period, anti-Semitism has continued and neo-Nazi groups flourished throughout Germany. Hate crimes and membership in neo-Nazi groups has increased. In , a study published by an independent committee of experts appointed by the Bundestag, the German parliament, found that anti-Semitism was on the rise in Germany, and not just from the neo-Nazi and Islamic fundamentalist parties.

Peter Longerich. The study also criticized the way Germany deals with anti-Semitism. Juliane Wetzel.

Read German City Jewish Memory: The Story of Worms (The Tauber Institute Series for the Study

But despite the grim situation in Germany, the report noted that anti-Semitism is much worse in many other European countries, including Poland , Hungary and Portugal. A Jewish individual was attacked in Berlin on November 25, , while leaving a synagogue. He sustained a black eye and multiple fractured fingers during the attack, which was perpetrated by a man who spoke German with an Arabic accent.

According to the victim there is no doubt that they were attacked because they looked like they were Jewish. Two Berlin-born Palestinian men were charged with planning attacks on the Israeli embassy and other Jewish institutions by a public prosecutor in Berlin, in December The men were arrested in July , and the trial began on December 15, During the refugee crisis of spurred by civil war in Syria , the rise of the Islamic State , and general instability in the Middle East, Germany opened it's doors to refugees from the war-torn region.

As Germany took in thousands upon thousands of these desperate refugees, the German Jewish community grew wary of a possible future rise in anti-Semitism in their country. The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, stated in a newspaper interview that intolerance and distaste for Israel and Jews is innate in much of the Middle East, and the rising immigrant population may lead to a rise in anti-Semitism in Germany as a whole. Schuster called for limiting the number of refugees allowed to enter the country in November The survey concluded that the number of Germans who associate with far-right extremist political parties had increased by almost 1, during that time period, and that there were at least active Neo-Nazis in Germany.

In an incident that went viral on the internet in early April , year old Israeli Adam Armoush attempted to prove to a friend that Berliners do not harbor anti-Semitic feelings by filming himself walking the streets of Berlin while wearing a yamurkle. While filming himself Armoush was assaulted on the streets by a Syrian refugee, who shouted anti-Semitic slurs and beat Armoush with a belt.

In response, thousands of Germans of all faiths participated in a country-wide march against rising anti-Semitism on April 26, Marchers all wore kippot in solidarity with the German Jewish community. A Syrian Jewish man was assaulted by a group of young adults in a Berlin park on July 7, , after the youths recognized that he was wearing a Jewish Star necklace. The man had asked members of the group of young people for a light for his cigarette prior to the attack.

When one of the youths realized that the victim was wearing a Jewish Star necklace, he began shouting anti-Semitic insults and punched the victim in the face. In August , a Jewish restaurant and its owner were attacked by masked neo-Nazis in the town of Chemnitz. The attackers allegedly threw stones, bottles and a steel pipe at Uwe Dziuballa and shouted, Get out of Germany, you Jewish pig.

The Jewish community has been especially concerned by the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany AfD party, which since late is the biggest opposition group in parliament. In addition to its hostility toward Muslims, members of the party have made disparaging comments about the Holocaust. Eli said the drivers then prevented the Israeli group from bringing their own food onto the bus, while extending the same courtesy to other passengers.

German officials have taken a strong stand against anti-Semitism in recent years, reminding the country of it's repressed past and it's obligation to the Jewish people. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been especially outspoken about her intolerance of anti-Semitism. We expect and demand that our allies respond in kind.

Today, Germany is one of the most reliable allies of the State of Israel. Limited diplomatic relations were established between the two states in and East Germany, as part of the Soviet bloc, was openly hostile. In , relations between West Germany and Israel were fully normalized, even though the move led to the severance of relations between Germany and most Arab states. In the post- World War II era, Germany assisted the young state of Israel by providing infrastructure including roads, railways and public buildings. This also helped support German industries and helped the country bounce back after the war.

When the Berlin wall came down in , Israelis held their breath, skeptical of the new unification and worried that a larger and more powerful Germany may not be as wary of its past. The unified German country has proven to be a valuable international ally and played a leading role in shaping the pro-Israel attitudes of many European countries. Germany has pursued a close relationship with Israel in the post- World War II era to regain legitimacy on the international stage and attempt to reconcile with Jews around the globe.

This support for Israel crosses party lines in Germany. In , for example, Israel purchased four Corvette ships and four Patriot missile batteries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the first Chancellor to address the Knesset in , causing five members of the Knesset to storm out of the room. It is believed that they were protesting the fact that German was being spoken by Merkel in the Knesset building.

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Political opinion polls show a divide between the government policy and the new generation of Germans coming of age. The German government officials base their political policy on the ties and events of the past, remembering the Holocaust vividly and basing their decisions on the strategic relationship shared with Israel and forged through this horror. One effort to ensure younger generations see the Germany-Israel relationship as crucial to the well-being of both nations is increased Holocaust education in German schools.

In , Yad Vashem signed an agreement with education ministers from every German state that develops new and improved Holocaust education programs. Germany provided Israel with its fourth submarine in September The submarine was the first of the new generation of Dolphin submarines, with the capability of staying underwater significantly longer than the other three Dolphin-class submarines.

A fifth German built submarine arrived in Israel on January 12, The funding will allow nanotechnology institutes and incubators in both countries to collaborate on joint projects for at least three years. He had previously visited Israel when he served as Germany's Foreign Minister. Germany sent planes to participate in the annual Blue Flag exercise for the first time in June The Social Democratic Party in the German Parliament blocked the lease of Heron TP drones from Israel in June , citing the primary reason for their objection as the fact that the drones were capable of carrying weapons.

Members of Parliament were quoted in German newspapers saying the deal was dead. The EU has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labeling the side that is being attacked by terrorism. The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this; those who will be hurt will be those Palestinians who work in Israeli factories.

The EU should be ashamed. The President of German Parliament announced that Germany did not support the decision to label the goods, and in fact rejected the idea when it was presented. Worms was a Roman Catholic bishopric from at least until , with an even earlier mention in In the Frankish Empire , the city was the location of an important palatinate of Charlemagne , who built one of his many administrative palaces here. The bishops administered the city and its territory. The most famous of the early medieval bishops was Burchard of Worms.

Alongside the nearby Romanesque cathedrals of Speyer and Mainz , it is one of the so-called Kaiserdome Imperial Cathedrals. Some parts in early Romanesque style from the 10th century still exist, while most parts are from the 11th and 12th century , with some later additions in Gothic style see the external links below for pictures. Four other Romanesque churches as well as the Romanesque old city fortification still exist, making the city Germany's second in Romanesque architecture only to Cologne. Worms prospered in the High Middle Ages. As a result, Worms was the site of several important events in the history of the Empire.

In the Concordat of Worms was signed; in , an Imperial Diet met here and made an attempt at reforming the disintegrating Imperial Circle Estates by the Imperial Reform. Most important, among more than a hundred Imperial Diets held at Worms, that of commonly known as the Diet of Worms ended with the Edict of Worms , in which Martin Luther was declared a heretic after refusing to recant his religious beliefs. The Jewish community was established there in the late 10th century, and Worms's first synagogue was erected in In , eight hundred Jews were murdered by crusaders and the local mob.

The Jewish Cemetery in Worms , dating from the 11th century, is believed to be the oldest surviving in situ cemetery in Europe.


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The Rashi Synagogue , which dates from and was carefully reconstructed after its desecration on Kristallnacht , is the oldest in Germany. At the rabbinical synod held at Worms at the turn of the 11th century, Rabbi Gershom ben Judah Rabbeinu Gershom explicitly prohibited polygamy for the first time. For hundreds of years, until Kristallnacht in , the Jewish Quarter of Worms was a centre of Jewish life. Worms today has only a very small Jewish population, and a recognizable Jewish community as such no longer exists.

However, after renovations in the s and s, many of the buildings of the Quarter can be seen in a close-to-original state, preserved as an outdoor museum. The Bishopric of Worms was secularized in , with the city being annexed into the First French Empire.

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In Worms passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse in accordance with the Congress of Vienna and the city was subsequently administered within Rhenish Hesse. After the Battle of the Bulge, Allied Armies advanced into the Rhineland in preparation for a massive assault into the heart of the Reich. Worms was a German strongpoint on the west bank of the Rhine and the forces there resisted the Allied advance tenaciously. Worms was thus heavily bombed by the Royal Air Force in two attacks on Feb.

A post-war survey estimated that 39 per cent of the town's developed area was destroyed. The RAF attack on Feb. Carried out by bombers, the attack in a few minutes rained 1, tons of bombs on the inner city, and Worms Cathedral was among the buildings set on fire. The Americans did not enter the city until the Rhine crossings began after the seizure of the Remagen Bridge.

In the attacks, inhabitants were killed and 35, 60 percent of the population of 58, were made homeless. A total of 6, buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. After the war, the inner city was rebuilt, mostly in modern style. Postwar, Worms became part of the new state of Rhineland-Palatinate ; the borough Rosengarten, on the east bank of the Rhine, was lost to Hesse. Worms today fiercely vies with the cities Trier and Cologne for the title of "Oldest City in Germany. In the Worms synagogue was firebombed.