WEST BERLIN (Jan. 25)
Jews in both East and West Germany are now actively in favor of reunification, convinced it is imminent and that it will be in their best interests.
This view was heard in interviews conducted last weekend in East and West Berlin and among Jews elsewhere in the two Germanys.
Their pervasive fear is the inroads that extreme right-wing parties and neo-Nazi groups might make if reunification is stalled and conditions become unstable.
It was expressed by Gerhard Loewental, a retired journalist who described himself as a “German Jew” rather than “a Jew who lives in Germany,” on a television talk show Monday. Loewental warned that any attempt to block reunification would result in the destabilization of East Germany and an increased mass flight from that country to the West.
No one could benefit from such a development, he said. “Destabilization would boost extremists on both sides. It won’t help anyone who is interested in peaceful, smooth development here in the heart of Europe.”
A 50-ycar-old Jew in East Germany told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the situation there was “boiling over” because of a lack of hope and general mistrust of the Communists.
“If no quick signal is given that this country is going to be united, East Germany will fall apart,” he said.
“It is then that we should have to fear from right-wing extremists. Moderate politicians should act now to respond to the wishes of the people, who clearly want the two Germanys to come together as soon as possible,” he said.
An official of the Jewish community in Dusseldorf warned that “as more and more refugees from the East pour into West Germany, that will cause social tensions here and may result in an upsurge of extremist parties such as the fraught Republicans, as has happened to a degree already.”
A young member of the West Berlin Jewish community, Hanna Schier, was greatly impressed by the pro-reunification mood she found on a visit to East Germany last week.
“I believe there is no way and no need to halt the movement toward reunification,” she told JTA.