Are the terms Jew and Jew interchangeable?

Jewish Life in Germany - Past and Present

Julia Bernstein

Julia Bernstein is a professor specializing in discrimination and inclusion in the immigration society at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. [email protected]

From the 1990s onwards, tens of thousands of so-called Jewish quota refugees migrated from the Soviet Union to the Federal Republic of Germany. What were the special challenges of Russian-speaking Jewish immigration? How has the image of the congregations changed since then?

Berlin: Children and adults of the East Berlin Adass Jisroel congregation celebrated their Purim festival in February 1991 in their parish hall on Tucholskystraße. It was the second time after the fall of the Wall that this festival was celebrated. Jewish emigrants from Eastern European countries also took part in the celebration. (& copy picture-alliance, ZB)

Migration as an existential crisis in the initial phase

In the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of so-called Jewish quota refugees migrated from the Soviet Union to the Federal Republic of Germany. As an ethnically and religiously oppressed minority in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Jews were given the opportunity to seek refuge in Germany under the so-called contingent refugee law [1]. The admission of Jewish contingent refugees also had the purpose of reviving Jewish life after the Shoah as an act of reconciliation in Germany.

With their arrival, they first had to mobilize new social, psychological, material and religious resources. Some to deal with the crises associated with migration; the others, in order to meet the new requirements in the host country; in turn those who redefined and developed their position as well as others who had to rethink and readjust their cultural perceptions. The migration process as a whole often caused difficulties in everyday life: e.g. existential insecurities, identity changes, or discrepancies between the self-perception as an individual / group and the perception of others in the host society. Above all, normativity was questioned. On the one hand, diversity in Germany, especially in certain settings [2], is meanwhile positively connoted. On the other hand, there was and still is the "pressure of normality" based on the life plans of the majority. [3] As a result, the Russian-speaking Jews were confronted with very different difficulties after their entry they now lived in the capitalist West and thus in a completely new social system.

Its "disadvantages" were always presented to them in the Soviet Union, but they had no idea of ​​its practice. Their everyday life was now dominated by a different political, economic and cultural system, with economic abundance (which caused powerlessness and excessive demands) as well as other language, thought and behavior patterns. An example of this is the relationship between the world of work and everyday organization and lifestyle. In the world of work there were phenomena such as self-marketing at work, completely different labor law or legally regulated working relationships, part-time jobs, different tax brackets ("we did not know what gross is ”[4], according to one interviewee, IP [5]), a complex insurance system (with / without deductible). The training was based on a three-tier school system, dual vocational training and, in the tertiary area, on other subjects and on a study life oriented towards independence. The IP report on a number of aspects of the new life that take getting used to: "Having an account and not getting the money in hand against a signature, as it was in the Soviet Union"; the new terms "make money" and " Keeping money "internalized and, for example, investing money in old-age provision; or being able to take it to court comparatively much easier. Other IPs, on the other hand, talked about changes in the sense of time:" I was sure, you can't plan time after all "; "having to show up at work on time (and not plus or minus 15 minutes)"; learning terms such as "time management", "annual and vacation planning"; always determining everything well in advance, "scheduling time"; "that the bus schedules are hanging at the bus stop and that it actually means something and that people act on it instead of waiting in line for groceries after work (often unexpectedly) and not knowing when to get home"; " To make an appointment for the visit “and never again to be confronted with the usual situation that“ you come home after work and there are unannounced guests who are already waiting for you ”. Also the individualized wish to have your own Having privacy ”for many clashed with their once accustomed cramped living conditions; likewise cultivated hospitality and frequent visits with magnificently set tables as part of social interactions. An IP reports: "For many years I did not understand when someone said: 'I have to withdraw, I need my peace and quiet' because for me everything was calm and beautiful when my parents or friends sometimes stayed for several days were visiting my apartment. I was used to the fact that a lot of people are together. ”Another IP reports that they were irritated when the invited visitor asked:“ Do I have to have eaten when I come to you? ” because she was used to entertaining every guest, even unannounced, always and without being asked (regardless of the financial situation). For adults in particular, it was difficult on the one hand not to attract attention and to (re) react appropriately to such social norms, but on the other hand to claim the space for one's own biography and personality, to be there and to act "like you really are are. ”And finally, one of the greatest challenges in the migration process was immigrating despite academic degrees without economic capital and often finding yourself at the lower end of the social hierarchy. Their acquired skills, their knowledge and their experiences as well as their 'former' social status were often not The gap between self-image and the social position assigned to them has been difficult to bridge, especially for older people.

Language difficulties in everyday life and culture

Many people are accompanied by speechlessness in the broader sense: the fear of asking questions; the fear when the phone rings; the fear of reacting wrongly. Or the fear of being a Jew inappropriately answering the following question (from a German teacher in a language course), for example: "Why did you come to Germany? We are of course happy, but I find it very difficult to imagine. Do not feel sorry for your people, Relatives who perished in the Holocaust? ”[6] Another IP, confronted with a similar question, reports on the migration to the perpetrators' country and the implied expectation of providing information about deep family experiences or justifying themselves as having integrity:" I I didn't even know what to say about it, but I also saw that she didn't mean it badly, she really didn't understand. I just became dumb ”[7]. With regard to speechlessness and therefore language difficulties, another dimension should be mentioned: Just as language also reflects intellectuality and socio-cultural class, it was all the more difficult for those who were able to express themselves elaborately and selectively in their mother tongue to just join in to be able to understand a rudimentary German vocabulary according to your self-image and your expectations of yourself. It is also difficult to perceive unspoken socially taboo topics and expressions and to learn "what one should rather keep silent about in public", to understand official language, to translate jokes in a funny way and, last but not least, to recognize that you are often unable to just laugh "normally" .

"The Russians are here!"

Almost 50 years after the war, many were confronted with stigmatizing expressions related to the war, such as "The Russians are here!" Or "Poland is open". This created a double conflict among Jewish people from the Soviet Union as the victorious power in the land of the Shoah: in many families soldiers had fought, some of whom had died, or family members were murdered and victims of the Shoah. An IP who is a Shoah survivor herself and belongs to the group of so-called Jewish child survivors, reports on an experience from her language class: "The German teacher told us that her mother was very confused when she heard that her daughter was coming “Russians” are teaching: “They are the rapists!” And then it was quiet, and I said: You know, when I wake up in a panic at night, bathed in sweat, because someone speaks German on the street and my window is open it takes me a while to understand where I am and that everything is okay. The teacher never touched this topic again. "[8]

Perhaps one had expected Shoah survivors on the one hand and Jewish geniuses on the other in the German population - and instead "Russians" had come in the media representation and everyday perception. [9]

The original pride in having a culturally European habitus was definitely a reason to emigrate to Germany and not to Israel. But this decision was called into question in view of the experiences around the perception of the Eastern European origin and a historically deeply rooted East-West dichotomy. At the same time, this decision from immigrants seemed to need justification and explanation: namely, to have emigrated to Germany of all places as Jews, as an IP put it: "You need thousands of reasons to come here and then thousands of justifications for staying here." ]

Again, economic reasons for emigration to the country of the perpetrators were rated by non-Jews as inappropriate and callous or too pragmatic. In this context, an IP said: "I don't want to have to listen to any more ideological things in my life. We had enough 'isms' in our life in the Soviet Union, one should also have a right to live for oneself".

Approaching one's own identity

A first approach to and confrontation with one's own Jewish tradition, religion and history began after perestroika in the mid-1980s and then continued in Germany. There was a certain leeway here for individual Jewish identities. In the atheistic Soviet Union, however, any practice of Jewish religion or tradition was not permitted. At the same time, Jewish affiliation was understood there as an innate nationality, which, for example, was always entered directly after the family name and date of birth in official forms. And this entry had real drawbacks in the face of institutional and everyday anti-Semitism. Jewish affiliation was primarily interpreted as historically "bad fate", or being born "in the wrong place in the wrong skin". The absolute majority of Russian-speaking Jews could only fill out their Jewish identity with a few positive things and had little knowledge of the Torah or Jewish tradition. In addition to the decades of Soviet suppression of the Jewish religion, in addition to the everyday experiences of discrimination and anti-Semitism, there was another aspect: they were often held up against their lack of knowledge of the Jewish religion and culture as well as the internalized Russian-Soviet habitus in the media: as evidence of theirs Not being really Jewish. Interestingly, through the Russian-speaking renaissance of Judaism after perestroika and through the Russian language, many people found access to their roots, the Torah and the traditions of their ancestors (many only in Germany) - and they still maintain them intensively in Russian to this day.

Contradictions of Russian-speaking Jewish Immigration

The process of getting to know each other and the transformation process in Germany has proven anything but easy. [11] A central problem was the only sensed request to adapt to the majority society or to integrate - even if this was not expressly requested by politics, media and science. At the same time, there was an individual desire to be accepted and recognized in the new society with one's own knowledge, the ideas, experiences and skills that had been brought with them, but also with all the contradictions and difficulties. For many, the following turned out: You come to a democratic society in which the principle of religious freedom prevails and, judging by ideal images, is celebrated as an enrichment - only to find out that it can be difficult to live out religiosity openly in everyday life. Occasionally, visible religiosity was seen as a disruptive factor for routine processes in practice. Specifically, this comes into play, for example, when young people want to observe Jewish rest periods or holidays and therefore do not come to school or universities, do not attend events on Saturdays, or request alternative examination dates if these collide with Jewish holidays. [12] In one case, an IP reported that the primary school teacher only allowed her son to put on the kippah for a short prayer before breakfast, because normally "all children in our school have to walk without hats" and if she allows him "Then the Muslim children come with their carpets five times a day". [13]

Russian-speaking Jewish IPs also report that they are virtually expected to criticize Israel. Against the background of having immigrated to a democratic country with its cultivated and highly valued freedom of expression, this obligation to a uniform position and the claim to enter into a common dialogue in this way is irritating. This increases when Jews in Germany, who often neither speak Hebrew nor have Israeli citizenship, are perceived as representatives of Israel. Many are held responsible for Israeli politics in everyday life as well as in institutions and are verbally attacked. As a rule [14], attacks related to Israel are not recognized as anti-Semitism under criminal law or have no consequences.

“Do you often visit your homeland?” Is another oppressive question that is also asked of Russian-speaking Jews of the second generation. Regardless of whether this refers to Israel or the Ukraine, “thinking as usual” [15] becomes national Terms such as "Heimat" are assumed and the lack of "German Heimat" suggests. Feelings of loyalty to Israel are often assumed across the board - which in itself corresponds to a typical anti-Semitic thought pattern, insofar as Jews are excluded from the ingroup and at the same time they are accused of not being able to be loyal to the majority society. In contrast, real feelings of loyalty to Israel rooted in biography, history and experiences with discrimination and anti-Semitism meet with great skepticism, resistance and criticism. Those affected experience this as alienating or marginalizing.

Many experience a certain continuity compared to the former Soviet Union and Germany: anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union was cited by many as the reason for their emigration. [16] In Germany, however, they are once again confronted with anti-Semitism, increasingly also with openly aggressive and other forms of anti-Semitism: such as post-Shoah or secondary anti-Semitism (e.g. Jewish stars labeled "Not vaccinated" on unconventional thinkers) Demonstrations), or with Israel-related anti-Semitism (for example through posters "Israel is our misfortune, put an end to it"). [17]

A surprising finding for Russian-speaking Jews, on the other hand, was that they first had to learn German to pronounce the word "Jew" freely and freely in public, as this was a stigmatizing word in Russian ("Yevrei"). At the same time, they noticed that many non-Jews in Germany tried to paraphrase the word "Jew" rather with "Jewish fellow citizens", "People of the Mosaic faith", "Israelites" or "people of other religions", or only cautiously over the word "Jew" brought the lips. They seemed to feel stigmatized or almost afraid of offending them.The fact that the word "Jew" can be perceived and used as a swear word in both the Russian and German contexts had consequences: for many it resulted in them living openly according to Russian, European or other aspects of their identity, but because of their Jewish affiliation Concealed concerns about uncomfortable confrontations or anti-Semitism or still do so. [18] One IP describes it as follows: "When everyone in the room catches their breath, there is an abrupt break in conversation, accompanied by silent discomfort in the room, so it becomes quiet, because one says that one is a Jew ”. [19] Another IP puts it: "When everyone suddenly becomes funny, i.e. extremely enthusiastic, overly friendly and excited or skeptical and distant after they have found out that you are Jewish". These reactions refer to stereotypical images of "the Jews" who, in the face of the Shoah, oscillate between fear and fascination and, above all, contradict the stereotypical images of “Eastern European immigrants.” These stereotypical patterns of perception do not do justice to either the reality of life or the identity of Russian-speaking Jews of ideal images, for example about Germany's "Christian-Jewish heritage", to be attributed to the majority society, or even to be presented as "national enrichment" against the background of the extermination of the Jews. At the same time, they are confronted with the usual problems of discrimination against migrants and anti-Semitism against this background is also the It is clearly difficult to live out all aspects of their (Russian, European, Jewish or a developing German) identity according to their wishes and to find recognition with their multiple, sometimes contradicting affiliations.

Another important contradiction that still exists is the examination of the historical German heritage and one's own Jewish family biographies in the Soviet Union. The German National Socialist past, which repeatedly reaches into the present - expresses itself in latent / manifest anti-Semitic attitudes through to physical attacks - represents an unchangeable, hard-to-bear backdrop. Because such experiences collided with our own culture of memory: this is how the Soviet Union became The wish I had brought with me to celebrate Victory Day on May 8th (in the SU on May 9th) and to come to the municipality on this day with Soviet orders and medals as veterans, initially perceived with great caution and alienation. As a Russian-speaking Jewish social worker put it: "In the beginning they (Jewish veterans with the medals, JB) were seen as clowns and not at all as actual heroes in society. The medals were associated with Nazi shame in Germany and they do not become with pride in public, as in the SU on May 9. It took a while until these people were recognized in the communities as true Jewish heroes and their Jewish contribution to liberation from the Nazi regime. May celebrations in the Jewish communities are an integral part of the annual calendar. However, this source of collective pride was and is greatly relativized by the socio-economic status of the older community members (often former soldiers in the Red Army). An IP said: "I must confess : When we arrived and the Germans helped us - they brought clothes or something - I had to cry. The Germans! Helped us! All of our lives we have seen them as enemies and we were the winners! And now they support us with social assistance, and we get nothing from our Russia - motherland - from the victorious power! "[20]

Many also express a feeling of injustice that qualifications of Russian-speaking German ethnic German repatriates, some of whom had completed their studies at the same universities in the SU, were recognized; also that the length of their employment in the SU was counted towards their pension and thus received a privileged status. In contrast, the so-called quota refugees were only entitled to basic security, which was perceived as a humiliation. To this day, many IPs speak of a morally difficult situation. Especially since, despite their many years of experience in highly qualified areas, they were equated with the unemployed or other needy groups and thus denied their potential social contribution.

Growth and Development of Jewish Communities

According to various sources, between 210.00 and 220.00 Russian-speaking Jews immigrated to Germany. [21] Today the Jewish community in Germany is the third largest in Europe [22] and represents great potential for Jewish life in Germany. [23] While the Jewish communities had 29,089 members in 1990, the number of members in 2006 is down to High 107,794 rose. In 2020 it will be 93,695 in 103 municipalities. [24] This concerns halachic [25] or Jews who have converted according to Orthodox law. Another 150,000 or so people who immigrated as Israelis (with German ancestry of their (great) grandparents) or as quota refugees (including many mixed families) are not members of Jewish communities. The Central Welfare Center for Jews in Germany (ZWST) and Jewish communities that were supposed to support the process of social integration of Russian-speaking Jews from the former Soviet Union have faced one of their greatest challenges since the 1990s: a numerically small minority of 'long-established residents' ( 5-7 percent) had to integrate an overwhelming majority (approx. 93-95 percent) of Russian-speaking Jews. In fact, both groups had to work together to create a new Jewish community. As a result of immigration since then, over 90 percent of parishioners in Germany are Russian-speaking. [26]

On the one hand, it was a matter of providing intensive support to the large number of immigrants with the diverse migration problems in all areas of life. On the other hand, it was about dealing with the new network, the expanded constitution of the community character and the effects of immigration on the future of Jewish communities in Germany and acting accordingly. In many cities and federal states [27], new and exclusively or largely Russian-speaking Jewish communities emerged or were reorganized as a result of immigration - a development that also required competent, trained staff who then cooperated closely with state organizations. In the initial phase, Russian-speaking rabbis and Russian-speaking social workers [28] first had to be found. Subsequently, the "Jewish Social Work" course was established through cooperation between the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences (meanwhile with the University for Jewish Studies in Heidelberg) It is also noteworthy that the rabbinical seminary now trains mostly Russian-speaking Jews. The new immigration also required expanding the offers according to the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the immigrants: e.g. by adding new ones for this group (intellectual academics) , attractive cultural programs were developed in the mother tongue. [29] An adequate approach also had to be found in the area of ​​"traditions of family memory narratives about the Shoah". For example, the biographically oriented work of remembrance had to be established first, in view of the "lack of language for dealing with the Holocaust" in the Soviet Union Because despite the fact that most of the immigrants were de facto shaped by family stories of survival and the transmission of transgenerational trauma, the subject of "Holocaust" was forbidden in the Soviet Union for ideological reasons. These topics are dealt with intensively in the more than 30 meeting points for Shoah survivors throughout Germany and at the ZWST's regular Shoah conferences.

Affiliation in the parishes

New problems also arose with regard to the question "Who counts as Jewish?" Because according to the Soviet definition of ethnicity and nationality, people with a Jewish father were classified as Jews. In Germany, however, they were not allowed to become members of the Jewish religious communities , as these are based exclusively on maternal Jewish descent in their traditionally religious interpretation of Judaism and halachic law and in this way define Jewish existence. As a result, many mixed families as well as many of the Jewish men whose children were not recognized as Jewish distanced themselves , even from the Jewish community.

The question of the meaning of Jewish identity "caught" many immigrants much earlier than they were ready for it. Hardly had they arrived in the new country, confronted with countless unresolved existential questions and language difficulties, the question arose: What exactly should you "really" prove Jewish identity? Or explain the decision to emigrate to the perpetrators' country? For example, an IP reports on the visit of a couple who "looked strange" during the community tour after hearing the Russian accent of the community staff and then asking directly: "And where are the real Jews, those without an accent? “Then a Russian-speaking staff member said:“ Those without an accent were murdered in the Shoah. Now we're here with the accent, but we can understand each other, can't we? ”The visitors turned and left the parish hall. Another Russian-speaking employee of a community who regularly conducts such tours has similar reports: "Many visitors come with very little knowledge about Jews and Judaism and we are the first Jews they meet".

Another special feature is the significantly higher average age of Russian-speaking immigrants compared to other migrants in Germany. Today, 60 percent of parishioners are over 51 years old and 48 percent (most of whom are Russian-speaking Jews) over 61 years old. [31] About 30 percent of Russian-speaking immigrants were over 60 years old when they entered the country. [32] Today they are usually supported by basic social security. Even if they attended language courses, most of them were not allowed to work in their original occupation because their qualifications were not recognized; To this day, many of them are in Russian-language networks, take advantage of the corresponding Russian-language offers and receive the necessary information and the opportunity to participate in society through the Jewish communities in Russian. [33] Not having the Russian-speaking social workers in the communities would be unthinkable nowadays. The question of care for the elderly has arisen particularly urgently in recent years. Many cities do not have Jewish retirement homes. In old age, traumas from the war and the Shoah can be increasingly activated or return. In such stressful situations, the German language as a reminder of the National Socialists and the Shoah can sometimes be experienced as hurtful and threatening. Against this background, the integration of Russian-speaking Jewish people into the regular elderly care system is an imposition for them, so that the search for Russian-speaking care services has become an urgent need.

On the development of Jewish youth and young adults

In view of the aging of the communities, attractive alternative offers and programs for young adults are becoming increasingly important. Jewish organizations also focus on Jewish upbringing and education. Today there are thirteen Jewish schools in Germany (in seven major cities). [34] Most Jewish children and adolescents, however, learn in regular, non-Jewish schools and tend to deal with Jewish tradition and culture outside of school: for example through the winter / summer holiday camps of the ZWST, offers from the communities (e.g. camps and Sunday schools ), through external Jewish religious education, which is recognized in schools as religious or ethical lessons, through trips to Israel with the Taglit program or through the support of the ELES Foundation for Jewish Students. Many Jewish young people are concerned with identity issues and actively shape their Jewish identity in everyday life, are involved in educating people about Jewish life, live traditionally religiously or follow the orthodox Jewish path. Others, in turn, see themselves as secular, symbolically Jewish or primarily cultivate their self-image and their values ​​as global citizens.

Second generation young people, who very often finish high school and acquire university degrees, usually show successful socio-economic participation and have secure jobs as e.g. teachers, doctors, lawyers, self-employed entrepreneurs. Their unemployment rates are lower than those of the non-Jewish population. [35] The command of several languages ​​enables some to work in other European countries or the successor states of the former Soviet Union. Russian-speaking immigrants very often pass the Russian language on to their children. Many second-generation children therefore attend Sunday schools as an additional option.

Often those responsible at Jewish schools are asked how they managed to integrate the Russian-speaking children, who usually form their largest school group, so successfully within a few years. One of the explanations can be found in the traditionally high educational morale and in the extremely high educational aspirations of their parents (most of them are academics). [36] The school success of children from Russian-speaking Jewish families shows that it is precisely these internalized values ​​for their children that are the main prerequisite for success later on in the labor market. Education plays a central role, both for the older generation and for the young. This is likely to be due to the culture of learning and reading, which is an integral part of Jewish tradition and shapes the socialization of Russian-speaking Jewish children and adolescents. For example, an IP that lives in a so-called "hot spot" describes: "I was often called to school by my daughter's class teacher. She complained a lot to me about putting too much pressure on my daughter. She kept saying: 'Just let your daughter live, be a child, play. She doesn't have to practice so many dictations. It's not a totalitarian country here, not Russia! ‘And then my Olga was the only fourth grade child who got the recommendation from high school”. The maxim practiced in Jewish families in the Soviet Union was: "In order to get ahead and have opportunities as a Jewish minority, you have to make a lot of effort and be much better than everyone else around you." the interviews also expressed their amazement that the 'Germans' would not have read the classics by Remarque, Böll or Heine and would be inferior to them in terms of classical education, even if they belonged to a well-off socio-economic class.

Activities of the municipalities

The immigration of Russian Jews from the 1990s onwards not only gave the communities a completely new linguistic and habitual character, but also a new spatial character in the respective cities. With the emergence of new Jewish communities and the opening of new synagogues, over time they became an integral part (even if protected by the police) of some German cities, as a social worker in the community put it: "In the past, taxi drivers didn't even know whether there is a synagogue in the city, now it is an inseparable and respected part of this city. ”At least as important is the fact that lively and open places of learning about Jewish tradition and religion as well as anti-Semitism-critical educational work have emerged. This offers real opportunities, to get to know Jews through personal contact and to be able to exchange ideas on all kinds of topics.

However, here too, some IP who are involved in tours in synagogues or other offers report that they are regularly confronted with resentment against Israel or other anti-Semitic images.According to them, such situations require a very solid and self-confident Jewish identity of their own in order to be able to provide adequate information.
Especially in the areas of intercultural opening and interreligious dialogue, many events with the participation of Russian-speaking actors take place in the communities. Many children of Russian-speaking migrants are actively involved in dialogue projects such as "Meet a Jew" or in empowerment projects for other Jewish children and young people.


The challenges for Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants were and still are diverse. This article took a look at the experiences of the migration process and life in Germany, the handling of stereotypes about Jews, the approach to one's own multifaceted identity and community life. They also remain formative for the future of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union and that of their children: Older Russian-speaking Jews increasingly seem to perceive themselves as "integrated foreign bodies" in Germany. [38] In the younger generations, especially for the second Generation, several levels overlap: they are confronted with expectations linked to German-Jewish history as well as with various ethnicization categories and accordingly experience the limits of their membership in the majority society. [39]

In this context, a key wish and uncertainty should be emphasized: Many IPs express the wish for a normality of Jewish life in Germany, for them and their children - after they have partly overcome challenges associated with migration and against the background of German history - to be able to participate equally and naturally in social life in Germany. An IP drafts such a normality scenario in which it would be common to find "Channuka or Rosh Hashanah greeting cards, just like the Christmas cards." At the same time, the IP points out that this normality scenario is due to his experience of xenophobia and anti-Semitism This reveals the uncertainty shared by many Jews. For them, anti-Semitism in Germany is not an abstract social problem, but an everyday and moreover a concrete danger. This is not only demonstrated by the right-wing terrorist attack on the synagogue in Halle (Saale) 2019, but also the fact that they no longer wear Jewish symbols in public due to concerns about attacks. [40] For Russian-speaking Jews, the anti-Semitism experiences and dangers also mean their decision to come to Germany, and their expectation of a safe and equal life here to lead, to question. Due to persistent or increasing experiences of anti-Semitism - metaphorically this is expressed in the phrase "sitting on packed suitcases" [41] - some doubt their future in Germany and are considering emigrating. [42] This makes it clear that dealing with Anti-Semitism is a central challenge for the future. Whether this challenge can be met ultimately depends on how each individual, but also politicians, counter anti-Semitism and support those affected.

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