Friday the 13th: Since this year, positive events have once again been linked to this important date of Jewish life in southern Germany. Because in two cities in Baden, the future was treated with celebration and outstanding participation.
The Jewish community of Emmendingen got things started later in the morning: they opened new buildings in the middle of the small town. It should be used as a prayer room, but also as a community and youth center, and as a meeting place for the elderly and a place for meals together.
the support At the beginning of her speech, Olga Maryanovska, a clearly proud community leader, thanked the local authorities, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli Religious Community in Baden (IRG) for their continued moral and material support after the mezuzah was ceremonially installed.
Even if the work took much longer than planned, not least because of Corona, and because of this time delay, there was, so to speak, “its own little Berlin airport”, the chairwoman said that they are now very happy with these new buildings.
At the end of her speech, Olga Marianovska turned to the daughter of Klaus and Otti Teichmacher, who re-established the congregation in 1995, and said that the two who were unfortunately absent “could be proud of us”.
local priest Central Council Chairman Joseph Schuster dared to look back at history. He recalled the Worst Hours of Congregation, originally founded in 1716, which had already suffered from hate speech and discrimination by National Socialists prior to 1933, for example by the then local Protestant pastor. The history of the Emmendingen Jews also ended at the present time with the deportation of the last remaining people to the Gurs camp in October 1940. Only 18 of the several hundred people survived.
Joseph Schuster emphasized that in Emmendingen, too, much had been done to come to terms with the situation after the Holocaust, but then asked the rhetorical question: “Can we lean in now?” , to which he immediately answered in the negative. The increase in anti-Semitism, for example in many Corona demonstrations, but also in other incidents, has clearly shown this recently.
Emmendingen also received Jewish refugees from Ukraine.
After words of welcome from Mayor Stefan Schlätterer and Joseph Schuster’s entry in the city’s Golden Book, state Rabbi Moshe Flümenmann and community rabbi, Yakov Gudkowski, reminded them that the community had once again engaged in the integration of Jewish refugees from these days Ukraine that got an important job.
Bread and salt Irene Licht, the Protestant pastor of Emmendingen, brought bread and salt as a welcome gift to great applause given and accepted across all religions, so to speak.
The afternoon celebration, which took place in the nearby town of Offenburg, required far more police protection than the Emmendinger event. But this is mainly due to the prominent participants in the reopening of the Salmin Cultural Site.
This historic place, where 175 years ago the citizens of Baden first made democratic demands to the authorities, some of which also find their way into the Basic Law today, is also important to Jewish history. Because until November 10, 1938, the Offenburg Synagogue stood here.
democracy In their speeches, Stefan Harbarth, President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Joseph Schuster, as well as Baden-Württemberg Interior Minister Thomas Strobel and District President Mothmar Arras, noted how important it is to defend democracy and pluralism at the present time.
Joseph Schuster wonders if the religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution actually exists in Germany today.
Joseph Schuster critically questioned whether the religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution actually existed in Germany at the present time, for example if religious Jews in some cities of the country or certain parts of the country were not allowed to wear the kippah. However, he eventually said, “We have concerns, but we also hope.” In his opinion, the glass is “two-thirds full” of the Jewish community.
The gracious celebration ended with Lord Mayor Marco Stevens conferring the honorary citizenship of the former President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, of Offenburg.
Although there has been no Jewish community in Offenburg since the Holocaust, with Salemeen opening as a cultural venue, it has fallen back on the “Jewish map” quite a bit.