A Rabbi in Germany: I hide my Kippa

DW: Mr Rabbi, where do they come from Pomerania to the members of its municipalities in Mecklenburg -? Yuriy Kadnykov: 95 percent of the members of our commun

A Rabbi in Germany: I hide my Kippa

DW: Mr Rabbi, where do they come from Pomerania to the members of its municipalities in Mecklenburg -?

Yuriy Kadnykov: 95 percent of the members of our communities originate from the former Soviet Union. Five percent are German-speaking Jews, and Israelis. In the best of times, the municipality of Rostock had about 1000 members, today, there are 570. Together with Schwerin, and Wismar, about 1400 members of the community are. Most of them are older people.

Many of the young members of the community to leave to study in other German cities, where you can find work and stay. Only a few return to Rostock or Schwerin. It is very difficult to find in our state, with a good education and a Job. The industrially developed regions in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg or North Rhine-preferably Westphalia. We know that our community is shrinking, and this is a sad development.

Get the members of your community to feel anti-Semitism?

Unfortunately, encounter it in our state, as in others, on the territory of the former GDR, the people with anti-Semitism. We must not forget that the national democratic party of Germany (NPD) is active, you have tried to prohibit it without success. Also, today's "rights" party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has deputies in the Parliament, and of a part of the population is supported, has a great influence. There is nothing around it coaxing, Jews in our state need to take note of precautions. When Leaving the synagogue, the community members are trying to cover their skullcaps with other headgear, in order not to attract attention and to protect themselves. I have to admit that I am covering my kippah when I go through Rostock.

of Course do the German authorities, in order to prevent anti-Semitism has increased in my opinion since 2015, as many Muslim refugees came into the country. Many of them see Israel and Israelites as their enemies. This has strengthened the right and left anti-Semitism on the spot. There are even places where no Jews live. There are a lot of on the Internet, starting with anti-Semitic Websites to the comments under articles about Jews. Even during the Coronavirus epidemic, the anti-Semitic sentiments have increased in the Internet. Many myths were born, in which the Jews of all the world's problems, the Coronavirus infection be accused of.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, we have observed anti-Semitic vandalism on Jewish cemeteries in villages and towns where no Jews live anymore. Before the Second world war, there were on the territory of today's Federal state of approximately 50 Jewish congregations, and the old Jewish cemeteries have been preserved. The land Association of Jewish communities can make up for 30 years, together with the government of these cemeteries in the former GDR fell. This is good news. But the vandalism on the already decorated cemeteries alerted me and my Church members. But many see that the country - as well as the Federal government take action against anti-Semitism in the society.

you Can say that the Jews of your community feel protection by the state?

Yes, but there were cases, such as last year in hall, in the on Yom Kippur, the most important Jewish holiday, two people were killed. I've seen no Thousands of people who would have been in Berlin on the streets. And, a few years ago, when a young man from anti-Semitism in Berlin was beaten, filled the demonstrators and just the plot in front of the community center in the capital. As the Central Council of Jews in Germany, a Demonstration in front of the Brandenburg gate in Berlin organized, there were also many protesters. This is an important Barometer for latent anti-Semitism in our country. Anti-Semitism is not a Problem of the Jewish communities, as many think, but a Problem of society.

It is no coincidence that the Federal government has internal stresses Minister Horst Seehofer recently that right-wing extremism is the biggest threat to Germany. According to him, 93.4 percent of anti-Semitic crimes in the year 2019 had a right extremist scene.

they lived in the former USSR, in Israel, and now they live in Germany and travel a lot around the world. Where feel Jews, in your opinion, would it be safer?

the Jews feel, of course, is in Israel safe and free. In Europe, this is, in my opinion, Vienna. There are Jewish districts, many Jewish shops and Restaurants. The Jews do not hide. Vienna is to be compared with Berlin hard to come by. Although Berlin is an open and progressive city, not to wear there are many people with a kippah. Jews are attacked more often than in Vienna. Not to mention the Rostock is quite. The anti-Semitism in the former GDR fell to the anti-Israeli policies of the 1950s. This hostile rhetoric is always anchored in the minds of many people.

In Germany, there are both right as well as left anti-Semitism in anti-Israeli rhetoric, but also by Islam up pushed anti-Semitism. We are with the state government in a continuous dialogue in order to strengthen the security measures for the members of our community.

Yuriy Kadnykov Western Pomerania since 2015 chief Rabbi in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He was born in 1975 in the Crimea. After the collapse of the USSR, he studied in Moscow. In 2003 he came to Germany to complete his rabbinical training at the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam to continue. Kadnykov 2011 in Bamberg, Germany, Rabbi. After graduation, he worked in the Jewish communities of Hannover, Magdeburg and Bad Pyrmont.

The conversation was Victor Weitz

author: Victor Weitz

*The article "a Rabbi in Germany said: "I will hide my Kippa"" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 21 July 2020, 16:26

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