Central Council president does not see German democracy generally at risk

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, does not see democracy in Germany is generally at risk.

“Antisemitism and and how a country deals with its minorities does say something about the state of democracy,” Schuster said Dr. Schuster to the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel: “However, I do not see any threat currently, because the German majority of the population is neither antisemitic nor does it harbour resentment against minorities in general.”

Nevertheless, there are tendencies that must be countered resolutely. Dr. Schuster agreed that the security situation for synagogues and other Jewish institutions remains precarious. “However, I don’t see this as a sign of a threat to democracy, it’s rather about the issue of security.”

The President of the Central Council advocated “continuing to make it clear that it its self-evident that Jewish life in Germany is here to stay”. For example, numerous events are planned for the coming year 2021 on the occasion of the anniversary of 1700 years of Jewish life in Germany.

Regarding the fact that most non-Jews in Germany know little about Jewish life, Dr. Schuster explained that this is because most Germans have never had any contact with a Jew in their lives. In schools in particular, it is important to point out “that Jewish life in this country is centuries old” and that there Jewish life has been re-established in Germany after the Shoah.

“In schools, also, we often find that many teachers have reservations about addressing the issue of Judaism in the classroom,” Schuster concluded.

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