Boxed-in In Germany


In contemporary Germany, where some 200,000 Jews live amid 82 million Germans, there is little chance for most Germans to meet a Jew.

Unless they go to the Jewish Museum in Berlin these days.

There, as part of a current — and controversial — exhibition titled “The Whole Truth … Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Jews …” a Jew sits in a glass enclosure two hours a day answering visitors’ questions.

It’s commonly known as “Jew in a Box,” and it’s become a popular part of the exhibition, albeit a contested part.

Visitors ask all sorts of questions about Jewish life and Jewish customs.

“A lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” museum spokeswoman Tina Luedecke told Fox News. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity to know more about Jews and Jewish life.”

Many Jews living in Germany report that they feel like curiosity pieces, called upon to answer the questions of new, non-Jewish acquaintances.

Bill Glucroft, below, an American Jew who has lived in Germany 2½ years, takes his regular turn in the box. One visitor asked him, “Can you stop being a Jew?”

“It’s not like we have a central authority figure like a pope to answer to,” he answered. Then he added, “But we do have to answer to our mothers.”

The German words at the base of the box asks, “Are there still Jews in Germany?”