BERLIN (Dec. 16)
Ignatz Bubis, the head of Germany’s Jewish community, expects a surge of Jewish immigration here following the successes Sunday of right-wing candidates in the Russian elections.
“I expect that the wave of immigrants from Russia will increase,” Bubis said Tuesday.
He called Sunday’s election results “a cause for worry.”
Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky — whose fascist and anti-Semitic rhetoric has provoked concern among Jewish groups monitoring the former Soviet Union — made a surprisingly strong showing in the parliamentary elections.
Bubis said that while anti-Semitism has traditionally been stronger in Ukraine than in Russia, “something like that seeps over.”
He said he was worried about the increasing popularity of right-wing parties, not only in Eastern Europe but as a worldwide phenomenon.
In the last several years, about 500,000 Jews have immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union, while about 15,000 have come to Germany.
In Berlin, the Jewish community has nearly doubled, now numbering about 10,000, as a result.
Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, immigration to Germany was relatively easy.
German immigration procedures have since changed. Jews wishing to immigrate must now apply for an entry permit before leaving the states of the former Soviet Union.