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What Obstacles Were There To The Re Establishment Of Jewish Life In Occupied Germany And In The Two German States During The 1950s, And To What Extent Were They Overcome?

2145 words - 9 pages

The Second World War was over and the Jewish survivors came out of the concentration camps and their hiding - places in the year 1945. Most of the survivors had the conviction that the dimension of the crimes had put an end to anti-Semitism in both German states. However the reality looked different: In the first decade of the post - war period in Germany, a virulent anti-Semitism in society as well as in politics existed in both German states.The average reaction of society and of the representatives of the bureaucracy towards the Jews was incurious. The German population acted in an extremely hostile manner towards the Jewish people, who had to suffer besetment, deportation, exile and assassination of their families. The suffering of the non-Jewish society due to the war was of far more interest for the German population than the happenings in the concentration camps. The suffering of the victims of the war and of the veterans overlaid the suffering of the Jewish victims. The German population made no more differences between victims and committer.This essay aims to describe the obstacles to the re-establishment of Jewish life in occupied Germany and to what extent they were overcome. The discussion that follows is broken down into four sections: The first section describes the first years of Jewish life after the Second World War followed by an explanation of the reaction of the German non-Jewish society. The next section declares the changes which took place in the political system towards the Jews in both German states. The closing observation presents ???????.In the year 1945 approximately 200,000 Jews remained in Germany. They were mainly from Eastern Europe. The number of Jews who had lived in Germany during the Second World War was between 15,000 and 20,000.The vast majority of the survivors received the status of "displaced persons". The category of displaced persons included former concentration camp inmates, prisoners of war and all the non-German persons who had fled or were driven from their homes.These displaced persons had to live in camps and under surveillance of the Allied Forces.The camps were surrounded with barb wire and watch towers. The displaced persons were not given any sense of liberation. Many inhabitants were reminded of their physical and spiritual experiences, which had a rather negative impact on the social standards in the camps. It was not until Eisenhower acted to remove the barb wire and to move the Jews into several camps that the situation changed in a positive way.The Jewish survivors represented only a small group of displaced persons.The Jewish people in the displaced person camps used the camps "to live in their old traditions, to speak Yiddish and to turn the camps into cultural centres with active religious lives" (Juliane Wetzel "Jewish Survivors in Germany after 1945" p.132).In the following years the military government of the Allies adopted a positive treatment of the Jews. The major goal was to...

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