German-jewish Relations: Partnership but No Symbiosis After Auschwitz

“A Jewish renaissance in Germany is not possible, but those Jews living and working there have our respect and friendship,” historian Kurt R. Grossmann said last night in a reassessment of German-Jewish relations presented at the Theodor Herzl Institute. “Our relationship towards the German people should be that of equal partners,” he said “since the German-Jewish symbiosis after Auschwitz has come to an end.” But Grossman warned that “We should not forgive and not forget.” He explained: “We Jews should not live outside of the history of our own people…In this process of moral and legal restitution we must strive for justice. We, as the living witnesses of the most tragic period, have to convey to the next generation, as a wholesome lesson, our experiences, and strive with all we have in us for regaining the moral laws lost in tears, blood, pain and uncounted corpses.” Grossman, a native of Berlin who was 74 on May 21, added that he hoped West German Chancellor Willy Brandt succeeded in creating “the other Germany,” for which “many of us have fought so fervently since we entered the political stage.” Grossman is a consultant to the Jewish Agency.

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