AN AMERICAN JEWISH – GERMAN INFORMATION & OPINION
September 24, 2013
IN THIS EDITION
THE GERMAN ELECTION – It’s Merkel! However…
RUNUP TO THE ELECTION: BORING! – It wasn’t Obama vs. Romney.
DAILY RACISM – It’s always been there but now recognized.
“OSSIS” & “WESSIES”: DO DIFFERENCES REMAIN? – East vs. West.
GERMAN JIHADIS – Another problem to deal with.
BISHOP WILLIAMSON – This creep is back in the news
ASYLUM – Germany’s “undocumented” situation
HORIZON 2020 PROGRAM – EU vs. Israel
DEATH OF A JEWISH LITERARY GIANT – The “Pope of German literary criticism dies.
The German election has come and gone and "Angie" remains as the most important
politician of the last decade in Europe. What she offered was stability and that is what
the German people wanted. They got it.
In addition, Israel and the Jewish people saw its best friend in Europe re-elected and
while her specific acts and policies might not always make everyone happy, it's better to
have a proven pal in office than a questionmark.
There's a long way to go before the Government coalition is established. Eight years
ago, the last time there was a "Grand Coalition" set in place, it took two months of
negotiations before policies and jobs were agreed upon. We'll keep you posted.
On to the news...
THE GERMAN ELECTION
As was expected, Angela Merkel and her CDU/CSU party group came out ahead and
so she will serve as Chancellor again for the next four years. Ms. Merkel is so popular
that she came within 5 seats in the Bundestag of having a majority without having to
form a coalition government with another party. Such a situation with one party rule
hasn't happened since the 1950's.
During the last 4 years the CDU/CSU has been in a coalition with the business oriented
Free Democratic Party (FDP). However, this time around the FDP received only 4.8% of
the vote insufficient to make the 5% hurdle for Bundestag membership. So, they're out -
totally! This means that Chancellor Merkel will have to find another partner. Let the
"horse trading" begin!
There are a couple of possibilities but in reality only one. That is to go into coalition with
the CDU/CSU's main opposition, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) forming what is
called a "Grand Coalition". It's not a happy situation for the more conservative center-
right Merkelites. However, this wouldn't be the first time that it has happened. During
Chancellor Merkel's first term she was in that sort of a coalition and, somehow, it
The second, and much less of a possibility, is for the CDU/CSU is to seek a coalition
with the Green Party. However, the Greens are even further to the left than the SPD
and, besides that, the Bavarian part of the Merkel group, the CSU, has said they
themselves would not entertain membership in such a coalition. So, it's not likely.
The "horse trading" season, I am sure, is already underway with the various parties
considering their stands on issues, what they would be willing to give up and what they
would demand in return. As far as this journal is concerned, it is the Foreign Office and
the Foreign Minister's position that are most important. Normally, the largest vote getter,
in this case the CDU/CSU, gets the Chancellor's position and the junior partner the
Foreign Office and Foreign Minister's position.
If all things remain normal (They won't!) Peer Steinbruck, the SPD's losing Chancellor
candidate would become the Foreign Minister. However, he announced during the
campaign that he was not interested in a Grand Coalition. Does that rule him out? I'd
say "no". That might have been campaign talk. On the other hand, in a negotiation he
might demand a different ministerial position. On a third hand, as a loser he might be
out altogether and the Foreign Minister's post could go to the Party Leader or someone
else. It's too early to tell.
One thing is certain, the actual foreign policy of the nation is not decided in the Foreign
Office but, rather, in the Office of the Chancellor. With Ms. Merkel being Israel's best
friend in Europe, German Middle East policy will be as friendly as it can be in the next 4
years. That's not saying it will be totally friendly but better with Merkel at the controls
than almost anyone else.
A more general report on the election can be accessed by clicking here.
RUNUP TO THE ELECTION: BORING!
Michael Wohlgemuth, a professor of economics, long-time election watcher, and
director of think tank Open Europe Berlin wrote a wonderful (and accurate) piece prior
to the election in The Local.de wherein he noted, “If Berlin was not full of vacuous
election posters, a foreign visitor to the city would never clock on to the fact that a
German parliament will be elected in five weeks. And if, out of curiosity, the visitor was
to look at these posters or, in a moment which they would later come to regret, read the
election manifestos of the parties, they would wonder what this election was all about.
It is certainly not about the biggest challenge facing Germany since reunification – the
future of the euro and the debt crisis. Problems in the eurozone are too complex and
abstract to take centre stage in this barren election campaign.
Instead we have been subjected over the last few weeks to fairy tales, stories about
Streusel [a type of German cake], and a wacky idea to charge foreigners to use the
The main opposition party, the SPD, spent the weekend nostalgically celebrating their
150th birthday, with leader Peer Steinbrück and his wife Gertrud reading a fairytale to
an audience of children and adults.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, took two weeks off the campaign to holiday in
Italyand came back to give an interview about how she liked to cook potato soup and
her husband complained that there was never enough Streusel in the kitchen.
For us politicos some excitement can be found in what will happen after the election.
Which coalitions will form if Merkel‟s partners, the FDP fail to enter the Bundestag with
five percent of the vote? Will there be another Grand Coalition between the
Conservatives and SPD? Could the SPD and Green Party get enough of the vote to
form their own coalition?
But in terms of election issues politicians have played it safe and voters appear to have
no appetite for excitement or change. Germany‟s economy, especially the labour
market, is performing well, particularly when compared with the rest of the European
And, when it comes to European issues, there does not even seem to be a real choice.
All major parties in Germany‟s parliament have given their support to Angela Merkel‟s
verdict that „there is no alternative‟ to her government‟s rescue operations.
There have been scandals - spying in Germany by America‟s National Security Agency
(NSA), the government‟s mismanagement of the Euro Hawk drone programme. But the
opposition has been unable to take advantage of them. It is difficult to pin the scandal
on one particular politician or even one party.
And in some respects the elections hardly matter as, barring a huge upset, they will not
affect European economic or foreign policy.
Since Germany‟s first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer took office in 1949, there has been
a remarkable continuity in German foreign, and especially European politics. German
politics has always been pro-European and in favour of ever-closer union or more
Though you will be reading this article after the election with some of the questions that
Prof. Wohlgemuth already answered, I think he is right on the money when it comes to
outlining where the citizenry stands when it comes to politics in general, how they feel
about their own country and the economic path the Chancellor has put it on.
Peaceful and boring! That’s it!
For the last six or eight months I have been reporting on the trial of the last remaining
member of a neo-Nazi killer gang which called itself the National Social Underground
(NSU). When their ten-year crime and murder spree performed right under the noses of
Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the
Constitution, the Bundestag undertook an inquiry and investigation.
Marcel Fürstenau writing in DW.De, noted, “When the trio of terrorists, who have
become known by the name they chose for themselves, the National Socialist
Underground (NSU), were finally discovered, it was more of an accident than the result
of detective work, and many Germans were appalled that the group could go
undetected for so long. The fact that politicians established a parliamentary inquiry at
the beginning of 2012 that included all the country's major political parties was
encouraging as well as necessary.
What the inquiry found is as clear as it is distressing: the country's security agencies
failed spectacularly. It is to the credit of the parliamentary committee that the causes for
the agencies' failures were uncovered - after one-and-a-half years of investigation.
But it says a lot about the intelligence agencies, and the politicians on the committee,
that the parliamentary investigation also hit a brick wall while examining documents and
questioning witnesses. When questions go unanswered because security agencies say
they need to protect informants, or relevant files are destroyed, it raises the question of
whether a deliberate cover-up was inevitable.
That makes it relatively comforting that parliamentarians from all parties in the
Bundestag could unanimously agree that the NSU did not have insiders in the police or
Still, it is important we listen to the chair of the committee, who said the NSU murder
spree was a "historically unprecedented failure by the public authorities." Even more
important is that the committee offered politicians - and the German public at large -
some lessons to be learned from the disastrous NSU investigation.
The first steps have already been taken. There is now a database of far-right extremism
and a center for defense against terrorist crimes, including those motivated by racism.
But the Office for the Protection of the Constitution itself also needs to be fundamentally
reformed. And it is up to the German people to make sure this demand - made by the
parliamentary committee - becomes a reality. The politicians must not be allowed to
shirk their duties. The intelligence agency deserved the severity of the criticism leveled
at it and should be thankful that a demand by the Left party to abolish it completely
would not have enough votes to pass through the Bundestag.
But as well as implementing these reforms, Germany also has to come to terms with
daily racism. More than anything, that requires people to recognize that it is widespread
in society and cannot be brushed off as a marginal problem. Studies have shown for
many years that discrimination occurs not only in public offices, but also in schools, in
sports clubs, and at work places.
Time constraints meant that the parliamentary committee could only deal with this issue
in a cursory manner. But its good intentions were evident in the many requests for
suggestions it made to experts. The German government's ombudswoman for relatives
of NSU victims, Barbara John, was a guest at the start and end of the investigation and
her criticisms and ideas flowed into the final report.
When the new Bundestag convenes after the national election on September 22,
representatives will hopefully realize that they need to give right-wing extremism and
racism their attention. A new parliamentary investigation is not necessary to do that, but
a commission of inquiry where parliamentarians and experts meet to discuss this
multifaceted topic would be a possibility.
It would also send a positive signal if the next German government provided long-term
financing to projects fighting right-wing extremism. Finally, we in the media need to be
sure that we do not spread racial clichés or strengthen stereotypes. It was, after all,
journalists who dubbed these racist hate-crimes the "kebab murders."
While Germany and its leadership are very good at reacting to public outbreaks of anti-
Semitism and racism, what goes on in community life between individuals is something
quite different. It is something that Germany and, actually, all societies have to face up
to. What happens behind closed doors can be a breeding ground for NSU-type activity
in the future. It’s bad for all societies. Worse for Germany!
I hope the Bundestag seriously considers their own committee’s report and the
questions raised by Marcel Fürstenau.
“OSSIS” & “WESSIES”: DO DIFFERENCES REMAIN?
Occasionally these day those of us who know at least a little bit about Germany are
asked questions such as, “Are there lingering differences between the two Germanys?”
and “How about the people? Are they different or have they homogenized?”
I usually reply that it is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between communities
but, if indeed there remains difference it is the minds of older people.
Though I’m not German, my answers, it seems, are not too far from being accurate.
Stefan Berg essaying in Spiegel On-Line writes, “For years following reunification, those
from the communist east saw themselves as "eastern Germans." Now, more than two
decades after the Berlin Wall fell, that identity is rapidly disappearing. East Germany is
almost completely gone.
The end of a country is on the horizon, a country that never formally existed: East
Germany. A demographic group that also never formally existed is coming to an end, as
well: the East Germans. It's time for an obituary.
The solidarity pact, which steered money eastwards for the costly project of developing
former East Germany, is expiring. The only disputed issue remains whether the so-
called solidarity tax should be abolished or whether the money should be used in the
future for development programs throughout Germany.
Today there is no question that the challenges Germany faces rarely or never have
anything to do with the labels East and West. In terms of fiscal policy, Saxony has more
in common with Bavaria than with the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western
Pomerania. And the industrial Ruhr region needs a solidarity pact as badly today as
eastern Germany did in 1990. Parts of Lower Saxony and the region of Ostvorpommern
in the far northeast have similar problems with rural flight.
The conference of eastern governors -- a political assembly that has existed since
reunification -- has become irrelevant.
Within the foreseeable future, the largest special agency devoted to the east that
features the GDR in its name could also be shut down. The Office of the Federal
Commissioner for the Files of the State Security Service of the Former GDR is to be
eliminated and its files transferred to the federal archive. More than 20 years after the
demise of the GDR, the screenings of public servants for possible past connections to
the former East German security service, or Stasi, have essentially come to an end. The
acts of looking back and making reference to the GDR are losing their relevance.
The old eastern German issues have been dealt with. The adjustment of pensions to
western German levels is almost complete, and hopefully a uniform minimum wage will
clear away some of the absurd differentiation into east and west. Eastern Germany no
longer means very much to high-school and university students today. When younger
people are asked where they are from, they usually mention the name of a city, a region
or a state.
The harmonization of standards of living proclaimed in Germany's constitution remains
an ongoing goal. But how that goal is achieved will no longer be subject to east-west
Perhaps what has happened in Germany is not replicable elsewhere being that the
Germans, both East and West, were only separated, culturally and politically, for a mere
44 years. However, one of the messages here is that change is possible. People adjust
– especially when they enter a democratic system and life, in most ways, become better
for them after a period of adjustment. I hope I’m right.
You can read the entire article by clicking here
It may sound weird that German nationals are taking part in the Syrian civil war. After
all, Germany is far from being any kind of an Islamic country. However, a nation the size
of Germany, needless to say, has all kinds of people most of whom believe in
democracy. However, at the edges it has those of a radical nature even neo-Nazis. A bit
more surprising, however, is the fact that they have a growing but small number of
extremist Islamic Jihadis.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a non-profit organization that follows terrorist
groups reported recently, “German citizens have participated in the bloody expulsion of
Christian villages in Syria, according to the German newsmagazine Focus. The incident
is part of a larger problem involving German and other citizens from Western countries
joining jihadist groups in Syria's brutal, multiparty civil war, raising Muslim terrorism
concerns in Syria and beyond.
A radical Muslim militia conducted an "ethnic cleansing" of Syrian Christian villagers
near the border with Turkey on Aug. 6. According to the Focus report, two unnamed
Western intelligence services identified German Muslim converts and other Germans
with an "immigration background" as militia members.
A recent propaganda video shows jihadists speaking in German praising the expulsions,
during which several murders occurred. The video also shows jihadists desecrating the
bodies of Syrian soldiers with kicks to the head.
About 70 German Muslim militants have traveled to Syria according to a July report
from Germany's Office of Constitutional Protection (Verfassungsschutz), an extremist
monitoring agency. Notable among them is the German-Ghanaian rapper-turned
hardline Muslim convert Denis Mamadou Cuspert (aka "Deso Dogg"). Once known for
his gangster lyrics and tattoos, Cuspert now produces German-language jihadist
nasheeds, or Islamic devotional music, Turkish-Moroccan-German journalist Souad
Mekhennet reported in the Daily Beast. One such online video emailed to Mekhennet on
July 30 shows images of suicide and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) bombings and
repeats the refrain, "I want death and cannot wait for it, armed with bombs and shells."
Confirming the above report was an article in The Jerusalem Post. It noted, “Radical
German Islamists participated in the murders of Syrian Christians in an early August
attack on the Turkish-Syrian border, according to a report in the German magazine
The magazine reported last week the involvement of nearly 100 “fanatical” German
Muslims, including Germans who converted to Islam, in the Syrian civil war.
Two Western intelligence agencies provided the information to FOCUS about the role of
German Islamists in the August massacre.
A German police official told the magazine that “the complicity of Germans in the
extermination and ethnic cleansing in Syria is a sheer intolerable condition.”
Prosecutors are examining whether the German Muslims can be charged with
participation in a terrorist organization.
The growing presence of German Islamists in Syria prompted the Federal Republic‟s
interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich to issue a warning in April about the “calls for
those Europeans who have been trained in battle [in Syria] to return home and pursue
The Sunni Salafist movement in Germany has provided the main combatants for the
conflict against Syrian President Bashar Assad‟s regime. Dirk Baehr, a German political
scientist who has written about European and German jihadi groups, told The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that six months ago there were 60 German Islamists in
Syria and now the number has climbed to 150. Many of the jihadis fighting in Syria are
from Belgium, Baehr added.
Now, 60 or 150 do not add up to an army or a national internal danger to Germany or its
democracy. However, these jihadists returning to Germany could infect others and the
problem could grow. A June report of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency noted
“the Islamist scene in Germany grew by several thousand to 42,000 supporters in 2012,
with 4,500 adherents described as radical Salafists, who want a strict form of Islam and
question Western modernism.
[Hans-Georg]Maassen [Ed. Note: The Director] said his agency had classified1,000 of
them as dangerous and of these 130 were especially dangerous. Watches on them
were kept around the clock, he said.
Maassen said Salafism was a "transit station" for numerous potential terrorists. He said
that more than 60 persons with German citizenship, who received training in places like
Syria before returning to Germany as potential lone Jihadists, were of particular
Extremists of any kind or in any number are not good news for Jews so it is encouraging
that the German government is watching the situation. Let’s hope it doesn’t grow into
one of genuinely troubling proportions.
A couple of years ago I wrote several pieces about Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson,
an English Holocaust denier and anti-Semite.
According to The Local.de “The 73-year-old bishop was convicted of incitement to
hatred after telling Swedish television in a 2009 broadcast that "200,000 to 300,000
Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps" and disputing the existence of Nazi gas
His lawyer argues the conviction should be quashed as the bishop had expected the
interview to be aired only in Sweden, where denying the Holocaust is not a crime.
But the actual interview took place in Regensburg, where it is illegal to deny the Nazis
murdered six million Jews during World War II.
Two courts handed him fines, but these were later quashed due to procedural problems,
before a further court fined him €1,800 in January.
While still a member of the breakaway ultra-conservative Catholic fraternity, the Society
of Saint Pius X Society, Williamson also hit the headlines in 2009 when the then pope,
Benedict XVI, reversed his excommunication in a bid to bridge a rift with the
Benedict later said he would not have made such a move if he had known about
Williamson's views on the Holocaust.
Williamson was expelled from the fraternity of traditionalists last year after it said he had
disobeyed and disrespected his superiors for several years.
Recently, “A German court began hearing an appeal by a British bishop on Monday who
was convicted in a high-profile case for denying key facts about the Holocaust.
The appeal, which opened at a court in the southern Bavarian city of Regensburg
without Bishop Richard Williamson present, is the fifth round of court proceedings in the
"Bishop Williamson was not there, but he also didn't have to come," the judge Bettina
Mielke said, adding the verdict was likely due on September 23rd.
Why should we be so interested in a discredited elderly Catholic Bishop appealing a
minor conviction? Well, first of all we should have continuing interest in the German
laws making Holocaust denial a criminal act. Too tough? I think not. Germany doesn’t
have the practically total free speech possibilities that we have in the U.S. They have a
different history and I think they know what is best for themselves.
Second, one has to be impressed that a speech broadcast in a foreign country but
actually made in Germany should be followed so closely by the German authorities.
Pretty dogged in my opinion.
Third, if what Pope Benedict noted in reversing Bishop Williamson’s excommunication
that he was unaware of the garbage coming out of Williamson’s mouth was, indeed,
true, he was at least guilty of bad supervision of staff. To those of us not on the inside it
looked as if he was more interested in bringing back into the fold these extreme right-
wing Saint Pius X Society people than in keeping Williamson outside the flock – where
Fourth, the fact that Williamson’s defense was only that he thought that what he said
was safe because, “…the bishop had expected the interview to be aired only in
Sweden, where denying the Holocaust is not a crime.” is not only disgusting but
instructive. These anti-Semites are legally smart. They are not about to violate laws.
They stay within the technical side of the law but keep doing what they’re doing.
I’ll try to follow the final decision in the Williamson case and let you know what happens.
We don't hear much about asylum here in the U.S. We hear a lot about undocumented
aliens but that's about it as far as foreigners wanting to live here. Germany is a different
In Germany the right for the politically persecuted to seek asylum is a basic right
stipulated in the German Constitution, meaning Germany has one of the securest rights
of asylum anywhere in Europe. It is the only basic right dedicated solely to foreigners.
The Federal Republic of Germany also abides by the Geneva Convention, which
governs the handling of refugees.
The right of asylum applies for the politically persecuted. According to the Geneva
Convention, these are persons who, because of their race, religion, nationality,
membership of a certain social group, or political conviction, are persecuted by the
government in their country.
The Federal Republic in reaction to its 20th Century history is a major terminal point for
asylum seekers from Syria, Serbia and Afghanistan currently. According to DW.DE,
"Finding homes for asylum applicants is an ongoing problem in Germany. A case in
Berlin has now sparked protests and, with federal elections just three weeks away,
attracted the attention of politicians.
The number of asylum applicants in Germany is steadily on the rise. In the past year,
some 65,000 people applied - a 41 percent increase compared to the previous year. In
the first seven months of 2013, there already have been 53,000 people seeking help,
with authorities estimating the overall number for the year might be double that figure.
And that means the country will need new space, and new homes, for asylum seekers.
Berlin's 30 asylum seeker homes are already overcrowded. A new site has now sparked
controversy and a nationwide debate.
Berlin Hellersdorf is a suburb with Soviet style apartment blocks and is considered a
rough district. There is a large immigrant community here - including many eastern
Europeans - and a large percentage is on social benefits. There are few places in
Hellersdorf where people can get together; life seems to be locked between discount
food stores, apartment blocks and wide roads. It's also a place known for problems with
neo-Nazis. Violence on the streets is part of everyday life.
The tinder box situation was an invitation for neo-Nazi demonstrations. And, indeed...
The German capital has seen a third day of demonstrations over a new center for
asylum seekers. The protests could bring the issue of immigration more to the fore as
general elections loom.
A small group of right-wing anti-immigrant protesters met on Wednesday with some 600
counterdemonstrators who came out in support of asylum seekers staying in a newly
opened refugee shelter in the eastern Berlin suburb of Hellersdorf.
The demonstration, called by the far-right, anti-Islam "Pro Deutschland" group,
remained peaceful. Only some 10 group members attended the protest.
Several hundred police were on hand to prevent a repeat of overnight violence, in which
one officer had his cheekbone broken by a thrown bottle and 25 people were arrested.
The demonstration on Tuesday evening was called by the right-extremist National
Democratic Party (NPD). Some 40 of its members faced off with more than 500 anti-
The violence occurred when the counterdemonstrators, who were blocking a tramline
nearby, became involved in a melee with police. The right-wingers later left by tram
under police protection.
Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit has condemned the racist sentiments, saying it was
"unbearable how right-wing demagogues are trying to sow fear."
"Berlin is a city that is open to the world, and that's why we must allow no space for
Conflicts in Syria and other parts of the world have led to a 90 percent rise in the
number of asylum seekers in Germany this year compared to the same period in 2012.
So far, 52,754 have sought asylum in the country in 2013. Only 15 per cent were
officially recognized as refugees in the first half of the year.
While this problem did not reach the heights that it have affected the election, it certainly
will not go away and will be fuel for the neo-Nazi NPD and other extremist elements. I
thought it interesting that both the "anti-fascist protestors" and the police far
outnumbered the NPD people.
I'm not sure how many Germans actually love the asylum policy of the government but it
is written into their constitution so it is supported by all parties except the NPD and, they
are largely a pariah party.
Germany's democracy seems strong enough to handle the asylum situation and the fact
that Berlin alone has 30 centers to house the seekers is a testament to where they are
in regards to minorities these days.
HORIZON 2020 PROGRAM
If you haven't heard of the Horizon 2020 you will and you should
Horizon 2020 is an 80 Billion Euro research and development project undertaken by the
European Union wth Israel as the only non-EU country involved. However, there is a
political sticking point.According to Chemistry World, "Israel‟s continued participation in
EU research programmes has been thrown into doubt by new guidelines that aim to
prevent money from the bloc going to any institutions or R&D activities in the occupied
territories. At present, less than 0.5% of EU R&D funding goes beyond the green line to
territories occupied by Israel following the six-day war in June 1967. However, in future,
any institutions outside the 1967 border will be automatically excluded from funding,
while institutions located inside the border will be asked to sign a territoriality clause.
This demand is seen in Israel as requiring institutions – including government research
facilities – to make a written declaration that the occupied territories are not part of
Israel. While the EU does not recognise Israel‟s sovereignty over the West Bank, Gaza,
East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, this is at odds with Israeli law. Israel says it has
annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, while the Gaza strip and the rest of the
West Bank are referred to as „the territories‟.
It is a very difficult matter as Israel wants badly to be involved as it would lose a great
deal of R & D money if it is not. Many Europeans also want Israel included in as it is a
major R & D center. Politics are in the way.
Back in August The Jerusalem Post reported, "The settlement guidelines, published last
month, have cast a heavy pall over Israel- EU relations, with Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu telling visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Monday that
the guidelines have “actually undermined peace” by hardening Palestinian positions.
The Post has learned that Netanyahu spoke with EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton about the guidelines on Friday night, in a conversation described by one
diplomatic official as “difficult.”
According to the official, Netanyahu told Ashton that Israel could not join the Horizon
2020 program on the basis of these guidelines. Ashton said that the EU was interested
in Israel‟s involvement, but she made no commitments or promises about modifying the
At the moment, there is a lot of backdoor negotiations going on. It appears that the
matter cannot be settled before November and at that time Israel has to be in or out.
The latest information can be accessed by clicking here
DEATH OF A JEWISH LITERARY GIANT
One of the Jewish giants of German literary criticism passed away recently.
According to The Jewish Daily Forward,” Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany‟s best-known
literary critic and a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, aged 93, [died] his publisher said.
Reich-Ranicki, a Jew born in Poland in 1920, almost perished at the Nazis‟ hands in
World War Two but went on to become one of the leading advocates of German
literature and culture during his long post-war career as a journalist, writer and critic.
He became a revered figure in his adopted country, hosting a popular literary talk show
on television from 1988 to 2002 and dishing out sometimes withering verdicts on other
Frank Schirrmacher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, where Reich-Ranicki had
been literary critic for many years, tweeted the news of his death and triggered an
immediate flood of condolences from around the German-speaking world over the
passing of a man widely known as “the pope of literature”.
“We have lost an incomparable friend of literature but also of freedom and democracy,”
said Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The fact that this son of a Jewish German-Polish
family, who lost his parents and relatives in the death camps of the Nazis, still found his
home in Germany and gave so much to our country is one of the remarkable events of
the post-war period.”
I won’t write anymore other than to say that one of the most important Jews of post-war
Germany is gone. His death is a great loss. To read more about him click here.
See you in October.
DuBow Digest is written and published by Eugene DuBow who can be contacted by
Both the American and Germany editions are posted at www.dubowdigest.typepad.com