By Robin Ostow
This publication is the results of a sequence of interviews of Robin Ostow with Jews within the German Democratic Republic. For the 1st time because the founding of the East German kingdom in 1949 Jews were allowed to talk overtly. Jewish women and men of alternative a while have been interviewed.
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Extra info for Jews in Contemporary East Germany: The Children of Moses in The Land of Marx
Your husband does work similar to yours, doesn't he? B. My husband is actually an electrician by trade, but for the last twelve years he's been an invalid. He has heart trouble, diabetes, and circulation problems. For five or six years, though, he's done some work for the VDN [Persecutees of the Nazi Regime]. He's in charge of ten or twelve older people there: he too looks after them a bit, congratulates them on their birthday, and makes sure that they have help when they need it. R. 0. Are there many Jews in the VDN?
There's talk about one day reconstructing the synagogue on the Oranienburgerstrasse. We already have a beautifully reconstructed synagogue which we can't fill on the Rykestrasse, so we certainly don't need another one. But we could reconstruct the fa~ade of the Oranienburgerstrasse synagogue and make it into a cultural centre. We could have a permanent exhibition and move our Jewish library there. We could also use the building for meetings, for showing films; people who do research on the Holocaust Dr Irene Runge 49 or on Berlin Jewish history could work there.
They have to demonstrate their knowledge of Judaism. That is, they have to be able to read Hebrew, they have to know about the holidays, and they basically have to be able to articulate their reasons for wanting to come to us. R. 0. What about the mikveh? S. We have a mikveh here, but it needs repair, so the Rabbi will have to make a decision. If he says it's not necessary, no one here will challenge him, but my own opinion is that if we're going to do this, we should do a proper and complete job.
Jews in Contemporary East Germany: The Children of Moses in The Land of Marx by Robin Ostow