Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

The rituals of Germany’s process of coming to terms with the past
The return of the dead Jews and the disappearance of the living Jews: an analytic-polemical experiment

Richard Chaim Schneider

Deutsche Fassung


The Holocaust is ever-present in everyday German political life, as long as remembrance of it does not cost anything more than money for prestigious monuments. However, if it is a matter of showing some courage and objecting to the transformation of the Jews into extras in empty rituals of commemoration or even to the new political utility of slogans tinged with antisemitism, the flow of unctuous words dries up. What makes matters worse is that as the Germans increasingly see themselves once again as victims of World War II, so the actually existing Jews in Germany are coming to be seen as troublemakers, people whose very presence makes it difficult for the Germans to assert what they see as their right to be the sole interpreters of the 1939-45 period.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 178–185)