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No Future for Jews in Germany, Rabbi Prinz Reports After Visit

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Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who was expelled from Germany by the Nazis 19 years ago when he occupied the pulpit of one of Berlin’s principal congregations, said today on return from a visit to Berlin that “there is no future for young Jews in Germany.”

While in Berlin, Dr. Prinz addressed a congregation numbering about 350 in a synagogue recently rebuilt by the West German Government on the site where his old Temple had been destroyed on Hitler’s orders in 1933. The 350 who attended the service conducted by Dr. Prinz are the remainder of a once-flourishing congregation numbering 3,000. Mostly, they were old people, he said.

The Adenauer government, the rabbi declared, had been helping Jewish communities rebuild their old synagogues. However, he added, there are not enough Jews left to fill the synagogues, so smaller buildings are being constructed and “these are often a combination of synagogue and home for the aged because 70 per cent of the Jews in Germany today are older people.” German Jewry, which totaled 550,000 in 1933, is now reduced to 22,000, he stated; while Berlin’s. 1933 Jewish population of 175,000 has now been reduced to about 4,000. There is not a single fulltime rabbi in Berlin now, Dr. Prinz said.

Dr. Prinz, who is a member of the World Jewish Congress executive, found that “many German intellectuals have a deep sense of guilt, but they don’t know how to make up for the wrongs that were done. There is a whole generation of Germans who simply don’t know a Jew. Among the older Germans, there is enough of the Nazi poison left to cause even well-meaning Gentiles to say that the country could only take back a limited number of Jews because the country simply could not psychologically digest many of them.” Even German Christians who “have tried to evoke a better understanding of Judaism and Jewish problems” feel the country could not absorb many Jews. Dr. Prinz stated.

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