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January 26, 1990 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION

CONTENTS

Do Headlines Show
The 'New' Germany?

G. VERNON LEOPOLD

T

he question is often
asked to what extent,
if at all, attitudes in
Germany have changed dur-
ing the past 45 years so as to
preclude recurrence of
another Holocaust.
As one who fled Nazi Ger-
many in July 1938, at age 14,
I recently visited in
Duesseldorf from where we,
that is, my parents, brother
and I, had emigrated. The
trip had come about through
an invitation which that city
is extending to former Jewish
residents who emigrated after
the 1933 Hitler take-over.
In my case the visit had
been expedited by the city's
deputy mayor who had at-
tended the same school as I,

How much have
attitudes changed,
when the
headlines welcome
home "The Jew"?

and who had previously
brought me into cor-
respondence with several
former grade school
classmates whom I had not
seen in 60 or so years. The
dinner to which these former
school friends had invited my
accompanying wife and me on
the evening of our arrival, a
pleasant, interesting and cor-
dial gathering, was covered by
the local press, and a day or
so later, became the subject of
an article which appeared in
the Rheinische Post, the most
widely-read newspaper of the
Duesseldorf area.
Minor errors aside, the ar-
ticle was well-written and up-
beat. However, the lead
headline with which its
editors introduced the article
is a wholly different matter:
"The Jew Vernon Leopold
.", so their headline pro-
claimed, ". . visits his
homeland" . . . "in Search of
Peace of Mind."
In a letter to the newspaper,
I wrote:
"Of course I am a Jew! I am
likewise an American, a
jurist, an attorney, a
democrat, a University of
Michigan and Harvard Law
School Alumnus and much
else, and, last but not least,
also a former German
Duesseldorfer. Not as a Jew,
but as a former Jewish Ger-
man did I believe that the
Duesseldorf City Administra-
tion had invited my visit to
my former hometown; a visit

which, as I saw it, was intend-
ed to convey to me that
despite the events of persecu-
tion I continued to be regard-
ed as part of the Rhinelandish
and German social and
cultural scene .. .
"Your offending headline,
however, has cast a long,
black shadow over all of this.
Long before 1933, during my
childhood years, I often had to
endure slurs, prejudice and
discrimination in the street;
as a Jew I first felt pride and
equality in the U.S.
"Prejudices such as anti-
Semitism take much time,
perhaps generations, to die
out; I and others had to en-
dure too much in former
times in order not to feel slur-
red when in Germany we are
publicly identified, to boot in
underscored fashion, as the
Jew So-and-So . . ."
Persecuted, hounded and
exterminated by the Nazis 45
years ago, we Jews are lioniz-
ed today by the leadership of
a "new," professedly guilt-
driven Germany for our con-
cededly historic contribution
to German culture. The lead
headline of the Reinische
Post, however, made crystal-
clear that, whether viewed as
a celebrated visitor or a fossil
of recent history, I stood
before the German public as,
simply, the Jew!
Evidently, thus, the Jews of
post-war Germany remain as
alien to their German
neighbors as we, who once
had been at home there, had
been defined by Hitler's
Nurenberg laws.
Today is may seem expe-
dient foreign policy for post-
war Germany to confess guilt
for Nazi crimes and to grant
former Holocaust victims
well-deserved compensation,
courtesies and hospitality.
But what kind of a future, so
it must be asked, will there be
for "alien" Jews in the re-
united Germany of tomorrow?
Thus, far from luxuriating
in "Peace of Mind" which the
German press so presump-
tuously thought I had come
there to seek, I returned
home from Germany deeply
disturbed. As Jewish
Americans, we must be ever
vigilant that our government
will pursue policies which
will prevent creation of a
unified Germany, neutralized
between East and West, a
state which would then be
free to pursue Nazi goals once
again.
And as American Jews we
must do everything we can to
insure the inviolability and
strength of the State of Israel.

CLOSE-UP

What's A Nice Girl
Doing In This Job?

24

WENDY ROLLIN
Welcome to the offices
of a detective, a mounted
policewoman and an Aikido teacher.

BACKGROUND

34

Reparations?

24

RON OSTROFF
Austria finally allows
benefits for survivors.

INSIGHT

37

Party
Split

ZE'EV CHAFETS
The Shamir-Sharon feud
is dividing the Likud bloc.

SPORTS

48

Almost
Grand

MIKE ROSENBAUM
There's just one Ming
missing for pro Brad Gilbert.

48

ENTERTAINMENT

65

Mission
Possible

KENNETH JONES
Jewish Ensemble Theater
is all set for its inaugural season.

LIFESTYLES

90

Moving
Upward

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ
Franklin Ellias is moving forward
on the business and volunteer scenes.

DEPARTMENTS

28
42
46
55
76
80

Inside Washington
Synagogues
Business
On Campus
Fine Arts
Travel

88
92
98
102
103
125

Education
Engagements
Births
Single Life
Classified Ads
Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

65

Friday, January 26, 1990
5:21 p.m.
Sabbath ends Jan. 27 6:26 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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