Menu JTA Search

German Jews Faithful to Fatherland, Though Rights Are Shattered

Dr. Bruno Woyda, one of the leaders of the Berlin Jewish community, who is at the head of the Revival Movement of Jewish Germans, addressing the first public meeting held here by the Revival Movement, said that “in spite of everything, we feel now more than ever in weal or woe forever bound to our German homeland.

“It is a unique situation in which we German Jews find ourselves today,” he went on.

“There are large circles of the German people who will not allow us to be considered Germans, and there are many Jews living in Germany who regard us German Jews as fools for insisting in spite of everything, that we are Germans.

“It is precisely because of the things that we have experienced during this year 1933, that we have come to realize more thoroughly than ever before that we are Germans and will stay Germans, come what may.

“We intend to proclaim this faith of ours until it becames the general property of the whole German people, and the last German of those who are today under the impression of a caricature of what is Jewish, will do justice to our real self as German Jews, until contempt is converted into respect, and depreciation into honest recognition.

“It will be the task of this new movement to train pioneers and to place them in the battlefront in the new war for emancipation. We are out for justice, and we trust that we shall achieve it.

“There are only two movements among the Jews of Germany that have any right to existence,” Dr. Woyda declared, “the German Jewish movement and the Zionist movement. There is no room for neutrality. But the Jewish Germans desire to work in conjunction with all Jews in Germany in those fields in which life brings us economic aid, welfare work and religious activities.

“As for our Germanism, there can be no compromise on that. The representation of German Jewry must be with those who see our future in Germany, not in Palestine, and remain in Germany under all conditions,” he declared.

Herr Wilhelm Graetz, former president of the Berlin Jewish community, complained that the Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Faith had adopted a stand of neutrality and as such, he said, it no longer represented the German-feeling section of Jewry.

“They must make a clear distinction between the Jewish national conception and the German Jewish conception,” he declared. “Zionists strove to direct Jewish youth towards Hebrew language, Hebrew literature and Hebrew song.

“We, on the other hand, see the future of the German Jewish youth in Germany, in German language, German literature and German song. We are working to win a second emancipation, in which both the Jewish and the German aspects of our life will have their place.”

NEXT STORY