Berlin

Josef Schuster warns »not to get used to the AfD«

Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Foto: Thomas Lohnes/Zentraltrat der Juden

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, deplored Germany’s »tilt towards the right« on Wednesday evening in the Lower Bavarian city of Landshut. He warned »not to get used to the AfD«.

The party had scored a particularly high number of votes in the eastern part of Bavaria in recent elections. Schuster expressed the hope that these voters were protestors »who will soon return to reason«.

COMMEMORATION The Protestant and the Catholic Church and the city of Landshut commemorated the pogrom night of 1938 with a presentation by the President of the Central Council.

Germany as a »stable democracy« could correct this tilt, said Schuster and stated that he was encouraged by an »atmosphere of democratic awakening« in the country. He cited demonstrations in many cities for tolerance and against racism, anti‐Semitism and right‐wing extremism. He had the impression, Schuster said, that people were alerted and not simply accepting the strengthening of the right‐wing fringe.

SELF‐CONFIDENCE Seven decades after the end of Second World War, Jewish life in Germany is again diverse, the President of the Central Council elaborated. This also had to do with the issue of immigration.

With the fall of the Berlin wall many Jewish refugees from the successor states of the Soviet Union came to Germany. The Jewish communities developed, a »welcoming culture«, which has resulted in a further development of the communities and a new Jewish self‐confidence, he said.

Landshut today no longer has a Jewish community of its own. According to Schuster, nearly 50 Jews lived with their families in the city before the Shoah. However, the Nazis annihilated this community completely.

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