Buy German?

Is it okay for Jews to buy German products?

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Comments (330)

(326) Jerry, October 14, 2017 5:54 AM

This insults many Jews, including strong advocates.

This video is wrong. Many strong advocates for the Jewish people such as the Sheldon Adelson, Howard Stern, the PM of Israel himself (and a $1,000,000 one too) and many many others drive German cars.

Take this article and the text version down. As a VW owner, I speak for myself and probably for many other Jews who do not like being likened to kapos, as this insinuates. Nor do we actually forgive today's German's ancestors for anything; buying a car or any of their products is not tantamount to forgiveness. The generation that perpetrated the Holocaust is nearly all dead or out of economic/social power. Also, Germany takes a responsibility for the Holocaust that it's many many collaborators, both ordinary people and representatives of the collaborator states, utterly and sometimes completely abscond from.

Also, how about the many Israeli Jews who drive German cars? Or the Israeli Jews who brought the cars to Israel in the first place, like Felix Burian or Amichai Harlap, from Felix and Co and Colmobil, respectively? They and their buyers were as touched by, or more touched, by the Holocaust than many other Jews.

(325) Anonymous, December 22, 2013 5:10 PM

Buying German?

There are many companies here in the US that secretly and openly supported Hitler. They weren't even charged with treason! When you buy acar do you know the history of the family that began the business? When you buy groceries, do you know that the men who started the grocery chain were Natzi soldiers? They had a reason for not wanting their picture taken. When you take that aspirin, do you think about how many Jews OBM were gassed to death by the same company. Oh, yes, and that cell phone you are using. Do you know who the parent company is? Who owns the gas that you put in your car? Check out that bank you use. Follow the money. And if you use a computer, the components inside might come from the same company that got free jewish labor from Hitler. Read Charles Higham's book. Trading with the Enemy, the Secret War Against the Jews. Those chips that you are eating? That burrito, that soft drink, that fried chicken all owned by a company that supported Germany and also the PLO. Do your research. You might be surprised.

(324) Anonymous, May 5, 2013 2:59 AM

Not hating but,also, not forgiving.

Not hating but,also, not forgiving. If Christianity is based on a heritage of having blatently borne the Cross for 2000 years, who's not to understand why the pillaging and killing of our prior generation and the heritage of our forefathers might not ruffle our comfort level with our warm friends in Germany? The very question the Rabbi poses is one that I googled, as it is very troubling to me. Growing up, I had good friends who were neighbors from Germany. And, from birth to not many months ago, I was in earshot of caustic, blatently bigoted remarks from persons of multiple backgrounds. Struggling with the question in the back of my mind, I recently bought a German brand of vehicle. After 911, America wanted revenge; we can hardly say, " forget about it" . Not hating but not forgiving- instead, fixing wrongs that may reverberate into war....

(323) Andy, February 8, 2013 7:24 PM

Message to Jews from a German

As a non-Jewish German, I think for Jewish people not to buy German products is sad and irrational, but I can accept and respect it if it is a way of paying respect to one's killed family members. If it doesn't feel right for you to buy German products, if you are not ready for it, if you would feel uncomfortable with those products that's okay, and you don't have to be afraid of ruining the German economy or causing any harm to Germany by your action, our economy is stable enough. As long as you don't judge individual people differently because they are German, I would not see you as bigoted or narrow-minded for not buying a German product.

(322) Moshe, January 21, 2012 8:04 AM

Think

I would have to say that I don't agree, as a german Jew I think this is silly. Yes, some of these companies were instruments of the holocaust, but it is like saying all germans were nazis! It is clear that that some people do not know their history. The allies (the english and french) knew of the concerntration camp, yet they did nothing about it untill it suited them for propaganda. And many german sympathisers with the jews were executed in cold blood in order to save their yiddishe friends. I would only ask one thing to all the writers and contributors, how can you say that america's hands are clean, or any nation under God for that. They have other attrocities to attone for, like forcing the native indians out of their home, and killing them en masse as it suited them. I would say let us forgive, let us not forget the horror and above all let us believe that hashem can work miracles anywhere.

Anonymous, February 17, 2012 4:34 AM

About Mercedes & BMW

BOTH CONTRIBUTED MONEY, ARMS AND VEHICLES TO HITLER AND HIS SUPPORTERS.. THAT IS DOCUMENTED, I READ WHERE AUDI DID NOT AND STAYED OUT OF IT.

(321) German Dude..., October 17, 2011 8:34 PM

germans still hates jews..

hi im from germany and i want to tell that we still hate jews.. we have still many nazis in our country.. these are called NEO-NAZIS.. yeah we still have a nazi party called NPD and thats all legal. German Products are mostly build by cheap workers from other european countrys like czech or something.. dont support germany.. we lie to ourselves and everybody knows that but no problem for germany cause anything is fake.. our products suck.. really.. its a shame to be german.. i feel very bad about that..

(320) Sandy, October 1, 2011 2:11 AM

The Rabbi of the synagogue that we attend, recently bought a new 2011 BMW 3-Series. I am changing to another Temple for.membership !!

(319) Sarah, July 26, 2011 2:54 AM

I agree

Not buying German products is not about forgiveness. It is about remembering those who suffered in the holocaust and about those who liberated what was left of our people at the camps. My father is veteran of that war...ask him what he witnessed and if he would buy German cars...manufacturers who used jews as slaves to build them...I think not!

Sandy, August 10, 2011 1:53 AM

Sarah.... EXACTLY !!

I do not condem others if they buy them, that is their misguided judgement. I only can control the man in the mirror. I keep the money, here, in America, I make the sale of an American product, with a mostly American work force, and I support an American Corporation - and NOT enriching the sons/daughters of theoffspring that slaughtered my "Brothers and Sisters" Simple as that ! I drive a Lincoln Town Car, Wife has a Cadillac Fleeetwood 60 Special and I have one "show" car - that I take to car shows and that is an Imperial Crown Convertibls (1968) - The final year for an Imperial Rag-Top. All USA made, under Labor unions and the $$$$ stays here.

(318) Sandy, July 20, 2011 6:58 PM

Thinking it over, and over, again

I realize that over the past few years, I have bought items that were made in Germany. They (Germany) does not export alot to the USA - but I did buy 3 picture frames, knowing that they were made in Germany. Giving it some thought, I realize it's the cars that I would not buy. BMW ran the printing presses that printed up all of the hate literature while Mercedes made & flew the air planes. ~ Both companies agressivly targetted the Jews with open hate. Audi stayed away and did not openly back Hitler & for so doing was Nationalized after "the war". VW was the MOST aggressive towards the Jewish People. So, to fast forward to 2011, if I saw a product that I lked & wanted, and it was made in Germany, I would buy it, other than a 'Benz or a "Beemer" or a VW. I have 3 cars, A Lincoln Town Car, A Mustang GT Convertible and a 18 year old flawless 8,300-mile 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special (Show Car)..

(317) Sandy, July 18, 2011 3:29 AM

Whaich is more evil, a German made product, or a Chinese made product? Chinnese in today's world.

(316) Anonymous, July 12, 2011 1:03 PM

Vatican/Nazi Conspire

Since we know that the Vatican conspired with the Nazis to steal anything of value (teeth,etc) artwork, start businesses in South America and strengthen I>G>Farben and munitions Mfr'g, why even consider purchasing German products?

(315) John, July 10, 2011 9:17 PM

Where do you draw the line?

If it were someone refusing to buy a product because it was made by a Jewish company, or made in Israel, is that a business decision, or anti-semitism? Why would it differ from refusing to buy German proucts? A far greater threat to Canada and US economies, is the WalMart made in China produce. Stuff we all used to make in our respective communities, produce that supported our nations' econimies since their births, is now outsourced to the lowest bidder in a nation that has horrible human rights practices. Whaic is more evil, a German made product, or a Chinese made product?

Sandy, July 14, 2011 8:06 PM

,

If it were someone refusing to buy a product because it was made by a Jewish company, or made in Israel, That would be called "FREEDOM" The comparasion between China & Germany is like marbles and airplanes. We have a right to choose to purchase products from China. It's a dumb choice, I agree, but the products are here, legally. Gasing people to death, because how they pray , is against the law.

Barbara, July 15, 2011 1:07 AM

John - for us, the German product is way worse...

Unfortunately, after the horrors that the German ppl did to us 70 years ago.... the answer to us is simple. If I could help it, I would not give a dime to the descendants of those that butchered us....

(314) Sandy, March 4, 2011 1:20 AM

Germany today has nothing to do with third Reich

Germany today has nothing to do with third Reich... This is very true. But, I mentally cannot let go of what took place "back then". Mercedes & BMW were absolutely on Hitler's side and aided Hitler's forces. I find it hard to forgive these corporations...when I have a choice of other luxury cars or other very good cars. I am NOT against Germans. I am of German background, Reformed Jew, eating only Kosher food. I see nothing Kosher in a Benz nor a Beemer. Furthermore, they are very expensive here in the USA and all the drug lords drive them. I have a Cadillac (1993) Fleetwood and a Chrysler convertible.

(313) Chaim, February 15, 2011 2:43 PM

German products

I am Jewish and I live in Germany and I buy a German products. German products are the best, especially cars and heavy machinery constructions. So what's the problem ? I grew up in Germany, I live here and I love this country. For me it's the best country in the world. I am Jewish and I am also a German. I am a Jewish German or a German Jew. Germany today has nothing to do with third Reich. Greetings from Baden-Württemberg.

(312) Sandy, May 23, 2010 11:03 PM

The post below is 100% true. However, I wanrt to point out, that is NOT the Ford Motor Company, of today! Ford is THE FIRST American Car Company, and perhaps the first CAR COMPANY anywhere, to have a Jewish President! Marc Fields is President of Ford of the Americas, and hails from New Jersey. (Which is why I own a Lincoln, the wife a Merc and the Son, a Mustang.)

(311) Ernst-Boris Schneider, May 21, 2010 7:34 AM

Ameican Corporations helped Nazis waging wars and killing jews

Henry Ford was a well known antisemite! He wrote the book "The international jew" and his photograph was on the desk of Adolf Hitler. He was bestowed the "Schwarzer Adlerorden" the Medal of the Black Eagle the highest decoration for foreigners by the Nazis. Other recipients include James Moones of General Motors which delivered 2000 axis for trucks for the invasion of Austria (and transport of jews) and Thomas Watson of IBM who delivered the Hollerith machines "computers" of their time to help with the paperwork of finding the jews in occupied countries. They helped the Nazis knowingly as is proven today. since they programmed the machines.

(310) Sandy, May 10, 2010 11:00 PM

I do not hate !

I do not hate Germans, and i am Jewish!! I am ALSO an American, so I patronize products of the country I was born & raised in, to support my nation's manufacturing and the wellness of our economy. Gun-to-head, I am forced to purchase a "foreign car" I would buy a Volvo S80 Premier Elite, or a Saab 9.5 Aero.

(309) Anonymous, May 10, 2010 10:58 AM

Is it okay for Jews to buy German products?

I thought Jews hate Germans so very much so why they buy German stuff why don't they buy Korean or Japanese or Chinese cars or make there own stuff. People have to use there brains for once.

(308) David L. Peters, January 15, 2010 4:59 PM

Israel should buy produsts and services from companies and nations which support it.

As an American autoworker (GM's Corvette Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky) and an AIPAC supporter (I will be in Washington D.C.in March lobbying for continued congressional support for Israel), I strongly believe Israel should be primarily driving American-made cars and trucks. For German, Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean companies and countries, Israeli's are nothing more than consumers. For many Americans, our relationship with Israel clearly goes deeper than dollars and shekels. That bond needs to be supported culturally, militarily, politically, and yes, commercially. No, I don't expect a 505 hp Corvette to ever sell well in Israel. But GM, Ford, and Chrysler -- who formed the core of the vaunted "Arsenal of Democracy" in WWII -- should be doing much better saleswise in your country than they are. Much better! Maybe you folks have some insight into what these American car companies need to improve on.

(307) Steve, January 11, 2010 4:42 PM

dont buy german or japanese--remember the Shoah and Nanjing

We must always, everyday remember the victims. I see alot of so called orthodox driving german cars and then I ask myself whether they are truly leading a Judaic life. I will always remember the shoah as well as the victims of Nanjing, etc. In essence there were two holocausts, one Judaic and one Chinese, therefore I will never buy a german or japanese car (yes, remember the japanese were allied with the anti-semitic european axis powers. There is alot of anti-semitism in japan even though most Jews think its okay to buy japanese cars. Why financially reward both the japanese and anti-semitic europeans. In my opinion, both cultures should suffer a thousand centuries for the unimaginable horror they inflicted.

(306) manuel, December 3, 2009 11:44 PM

Boycott Japanesse

Although I was born after ww2 I have always felt uncomfortable owing or buying anything that is made by our former enimies , not only for the war crimes they commited but alsio for udermining the Econmy of the US ( My Host country) long before any artciles or comments were ever made ,on the internet I have been ridiculed by even family members for taking this position, it was some what conforting to see that i am not the only one with similar views. I still use oil and gas from OPEC so there is contridiction in my boycotts I will keep looking to Hasem for the answers to al these questions

(305) Sandy, November 9, 2009 4:27 PM

Yes.......BUT;

If you read Audi(s) history, they had a large basement area, unknown to the german soldiers and they huddled 98 Jewish people down there in 24 hour @ day darkness, and dropped down food & some medicines at night. Upstairs they ran presses for comic books for the german children whose father were at "war" ~ Of those 98, 96 lived. This story was told on TV about 10 years ago. I happened to watch it. 2 women who were among the 98 original people, were on TV. They were both around 95 years old. They related the story. Regardless, it was NOT "AUDI" but rather (I think) 2 of the other companies (Horest, Wandrer possibly) that reformed to make up the 4 rings on the trunk lid of Audis, today. The history of Audi is on the web. It's a really interesting read. Regardless, I do not drive an Audi. I have purchased Lincolns since 1986, after Chrysler discontinued the Imperial. (Now don't go pointing out that Henry I was a Jew-Hater! That is true, as is the fact that Ford Motor Company's President is very Jewish, and originally hails from the same town in New Jersey that I come from!!) The FIRST American Major Automobile Manufacturer with a Jewish President in history, I do believe ~

(304) Anonymous, November 4, 2009 11:33 PM

Dear Sandy (301)

Audi AG has long been a subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. You might want to re-think your boycott strategy.

(303) Sandy, September 3, 2009 2:26 PM

Reply

Yes, what is going on in France, (I am somewhat aware) is terrible. IF buying a German car is okay with you, then that is fine. For me, no, I will not do that. As long as there are American cars, I will buy that. I feel better supporting the American Corporations, employing Americans. It works for me. All I can say, can't speak for others. Just me.

(302) perets, August 29, 2009 8:36 AM

No more desirable

I refused to buy german for a long time but changed my mind few years ago for the following reasons 1/ What else ? : If you do not buy german car (what I never did up to now) and buy a french car (I'm french which also explained my english ...). French car companies are working with Iran. Do we want to support those activities ...Russia also, .... 2/ Legitimate boycott : If we agree to "boycott" a country, do we justify the people we are boycotting israeli products (this is happening in FRance, with people boycotting and distroying israeli product in super market) 3/ Germans have changed : the company I was working for was bought over by a german company. So I had to go to germany and work with germans.Franckly, I had oftern better feeling with some of german colleges than french ones or Us colegues(based on my jewishness). Last but not least, if you were to keep this habit, when should it stop : 3 generations, 10, never ? rgds by the way, congratulation for your website

(301) Sandy, August 28, 2009 11:56 AM

I do & would buy German products! I will NOT buy their automobiles, as BMW, M-B, and Porsche aided and woked with Hitler, to kill Jews . What is known today as "AUDI" refused and was therefore Nationalized, and then put out of business for not doing as the other 3 mentioned car companies did.. In a year or so, Audi regrouped, and grew to where it is today. An Audi I would buy. They converted their factory and printed comic books to entertain the kiddies, while Daddy was out killing Jewish people. BUT, they tricked the Nazis as they had built a false floor and took in 98 Jewish people and fed, hid, and protected them. 2 diied but 96 survived. 4 of them were on American TV, several years ago, then in their 90s. telling their stories. I have 4 cars. 1 Cadillac, 1 Lincoln, 1 Classic Imperial Show Car and a new Mustang GT Convertible. I don't need any of "Hitler's Friends" to schlep me around.

(300) stefan, August 23, 2009 5:11 PM

Who cares if jews buy german products or not??? Germany is one of the major expot countrys anyway...

(299) Anonymous, August 22, 2009 3:03 PM

dear daniel

i know what happened in world war 1,2 i really hate germany for that thing because allot of russian soldiers have been killed but those days are over. Of germany now there is peace and i think we should forget that moment but not forget who lost their live for us. So i think that we should buy german their product .

(298) Vlad Seder, April 20, 2009 10:08 PM

Dear Daniel,

I was really sorry to read your comments - I could not decide what was there more of - either Marxist "class struggle" bias - or, rather, narrow-mindedness and ignorance about the real and complete picture of the Jewish life in Europe BEFORE the Holocaust. Yeah, right - there were probably a few Dutch Jews who profited from trade in spices, etc and "enjoyed an abundance of wealth". Could you please name any of them? At the same time there were thousands and thousands of Jews living in Europe in abject poverty in a constant danger of pogroms - the favorite pastime of non-Jewish Europeans. Yeah, the Dutch Jews experienced comparative better lives than ones in other European countries. I would just remind you that the Dutch Jews were the descendants of the Jews expelled from England, France and Spain. Yeah, it always helpful to get your facts straight - before you open your mouth - or go on typing away. Aspirin was invented by Germans? Not true - acetylsalicylic acid was discovered in 1853 by Charles Frederic Gerhardt - a FRENCH chemist. The German company Bayer AG obtained a patent for production and marketing of acetylsalicylic acid under the trade name of Aspirin in 1899. After the World War I the Bayer company became part of IG Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical industries that formed a part of the financial core of the German Nazi regime. IG Farben owned 42.5% of the company that manufactured the infamous Zyklon B, a chemical used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other extermination camps. The Bayer executive Fritz ter Meer, sentenced to seven years in prison by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, was made head of the supervisory board of Bayer in 1956, after his release. So I personally would not buy Bayer's drugs - for obvious reasons. Yet I love to buy kosher food from Germany. Usually it bears a heksher with a penny-size Magen David - and of course, the inscription "Made in Germany". It is symbolic for me - it shows, in final analysis, who won that war. Nazis - where are they now? Yet Jews continue to live in Germany, and make kosher food there, and export it to the US. This is our revenge to Nazis - the we continue to LIVE, and yes - prosper. I think I heard it in one of Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz lectures: our revenge to Nazis is to marry off our children, and to have lots of grandchildren, and to celebrate our simchas in Jerusalem. In every generation they rise up to kill us, yet every time HaKadosh Baruch Hu saves us. Happy belated Passover.

(297) Sandy, February 2, 2009 7:43 PM

But Daniel

tell me this. What group, either via religious beliefs, or race or nationality had 6 million tortured, burned & killed? Only the Jews! (and) Where did it happen? Germany! Now, as stated, I WILL purchase goods made in Germany. I will NEVER purchase their automobiles. Why? Because it was Mercedes, Porsche, VW AND BMW that worked WITH Hitler, aiding and abeting his efforts to kill all the Jews. AUDI on the other hand did NOT go along with this.....(actually the 4 companies which later on joined together to become AUDI)! They constructed a false floor in their building that made comic books to keep the kiddies busy while daddy went off burning Jews. At night in the dark, they dropped food & medicine down a shaft to the 100 people they took in. In the end 96 lives were saved, by Audi who the Germans then Nationalized and put out of business. later, in more modern times they regrouped to become AUDI. SOoo, why would I choose one of the aforementioned over an American car or an English or Japanese car, or....an AUDI.? and by the way, 2 of my 4 grandparents were shot and dumped into a German land-fill over there. So, yes, it does touch home ! My German Vacuum Cleaner sucks very good. Sometimes I order German food in a German eatery, too. I get there in my Cadillac, thank you !

(296) Daniel, January 7, 2009 4:09 AM

Narrow mindness and Ignorance leads mankind back into the Dark Ages

I find it very sad to read these comments that have been placed here. I am not from Israel or neither am I Jewish. But I would like to make the audience here aware of a few things that should open your narrow minded view. What gives me any qualifications ? Maybe none, but I come from 2 different ethnic backgrounds and I have lived in 9 differnt countries spanning from Europe to Asia. I have Jewish friends and I know what they would say about this subject. Let us talk about Colonialism. The Jewish Community in Europe during the Colonial times were very active traders and earned well through the barter and trade. Having lived in Asia I know what Colonialism has done to these countries. In the Colonial times these Asian countries had to suffer so the rich merchant traders could benefit from these rescources. In order for Europe to stay powerful, local citizens of India and Indonesia were treated like second hand citizens, while Jewish Traders enjoyed an abundance of wealth. Should India and Indonesia treat the Jewish Society any differently ? The Dutch Jews exploited the Spice islands to the fullest. Therfore should Jewish tourists be banned from visiting Bali ? Secondly I came across a website that noted down the inventions of the Germans. To my surprise, the Germans invented the following : the computer, Aspirin, airbag, jet engines and funnily enough MP3's (somone might want to let Mr. Salomon know that his "MP3 Audio Site" was only possible becuase of a German. There are other races that have suffered because of the will of others. And no one is alone in the different atrocities that have been put upon us. But for who is it to say that my grief should be more important than that of my neighbour ? In a multi cultural world we dont have time for this sort of nonsense.

(295) Sandy, December 4, 2008 7:55 PM

Ms. Brandtstein, For your info, my nationality is German. My grandparents escaped before Adolph rose to power, and likewise I am an observant Jewish Male ! You should purchase the cars of your country, as I should purchase the cars of my homeland. I have a General Motors Cadillac and a Ford Motor Company Lincoln. I do know that you are thinking how Anti Semitic Henry Ford was, but today...today Ford Motor Company is the first .... and the only major automobile corporation in the world to have a Jewish President. HIS NAME IS Marc Fields. I also would buy an Audi and also a Volvo from Sweeden, especially the S80 ! Have a happy & a healthy Hanukkah ! Sandy Rabinowitz

(294) katharina von Brandtstein, December 2, 2008 9:16 PM

sandy is no different than the nazis that hated my people

Despicable! Your type of hate is no different that put many of my family members in camps and many put to death. As a German-Jew I have many friends and family members that work at many of the German-Automakers including VW, BMW, Audi and others. Your type of thing only puts us out of work. We are finally back in the mainstream of life here in Germany, Judaism is much older in Germany than Christianity. You will not find a country where Jews have more jobs in the Auto industry than Germany!

(293) Sandy, November 3, 2008 8:36 AM

With me, it's all about....

With me, it's all about the CARS! You see, Mercedes built the tanks, the vehicles needed for the "war" and gave Hitler huge support and GELT. The airplanes that flew over low and dropped propaganda were made by BMW and BMW ran the printing press _ that printed most all of the hate literture. Porsche & Volkswagon were super close to Hitler and VW had a big part in building and creating & testing the crematories. along with Krupps. (NOT the small appliance maker! NOT!) So. sorry, while I may buy other items made in Germany (like my vacuum cleaner) I am NOT sending my $$$ to Germany to buy one of your Hitler-cars. So Sorry. By the way, I would buy an AUDI ! I read the story of how Audi saved 96 Jewish people by hoarding them in a dark basement & sending down food at night, along with drugs. There were 100. 4 died - but 96 lived. 2 were on USA television about 3 years ago. The 5 companies that later banded together to form "AUDI" were against Hitler and therefore were Nationalized AFTER the "war" and then put out of business.... You can read the amazing story of Audi on the Web. Enter in search bar "History of Audi" Sadly when they came to America, they teamed up with VW. But these days they have seperated themselves over here. Audi is a The others are a - It's NOT that they are German - - it about what they did DURING the reign of Hitler.

(292) Katharina von Brandtstein-Rosenberg, November 2, 2008 10:34 PM

Oh noch ein mal,,,,,,,,

one more time, to the stupid girl that said Herr Porsche was pals with Hitler,, no no fraulein he was not and even took his family to Die Schweitz/Switzerland to escape hitler but his family was caught and put under house arest untill Herr Porsche returned to Germany or the nazi party was to kill his family, next you'll say Marlene Dietrich was a nazi. My whole family was flown to Irael by her to see her in concert in Israel and she was even allowed to sing a song in German. Again, My family surrived nazi horrors and we still live in our beloved Germany like we have for over 2000 years and will continue to do so. Many Germans of other faiths were killed, many germans with very little jews blut/blood were labled Jew to justify killing them because of their support for the Weimar Republik and German-Jews insted of the nazi party, It really hurts me and my family when we see american jews attach us German-Jews hier in Germany. what about the USSR and their treatment of Jews or Iran post Shaw, or Iraq, Egypt,Turkey and many more... Germany is not nazi and it was for a brief time and it was damaging, but it's nazi rule is over and YOU all are not helping us German-Jews and Jewish new commers to Germany from other east block countries. noch mal, Gott gezint ont adank viel mals,deine Katharina von Brandtstein-Rosenberg

(291) Katharina von Brandtstein-Rosenberg, November 2, 2008 9:38 PM

Kaufen Deutsch/Buy German???

Ja, ich bin Deutsch-Jüdische/I am German-Jewish, I say yes to buy german, it is the Country of my family for over 2000 jahren/years. I love Germany and she is not the problem but the past nazi party was the problem. My family history goes back to the time of Cyrus the Great, freed as slaves, only to move place to place untill the meeting of Teutonic Tribes and the marriage of the peoples is whom I am today. Ashkenazi Jews are literally "German Jews." this what we are called sometimes, we don't speak Hebrew but some words are carry-overs in are Westren-Jiddisch dialect which is based on Mittel-Hoch-deutsch/Middle-High-German, though I have Prussian Cousins that speak a low-prussian-yiddisch dialect(Königsbarg/Königsberg) Not buying German means more and more of us German-Jews loose jobs. Untill the nazi party of Austria took a hold in Germany, We had the most rights of any other jews in the world pre 1930's, German-Jews were the first to have citizenship of a european land, even a Prince in the 1700's called the Jews his Royal Subjects and built a new temple for them when the first was lost to fire. I tired to live in the USA and had a job at the Saint Paul Jewish CC in Minnesota to help german speaking Jews from the Ukraine and formal USSR. Most American-Jews had a hard time excepting me, as a person of Jewish Heritage or even a person period! My family had been through hell and back in the 30' and 40's,. Germany as a whole has been very nice to be and my people these days, I see many German-Christians donating money, land, man hours and old Juden Site Buildings to restore Our Synagogues hier in Germany. Our heritage sites are some of Germany's most famous Architecture buildings. Our religious cultures (German-Jews and German-Christians) have and still live side by side and work, help and share ideas and life together these days again. look at any german city and see Our Baroque, Romanesque, Gothic and yes even Moorish style synagogues. I recommend a book called "Jewish Germany" by Hirsch, it is a beautiful book on all the jews historic sites, temples/synagogues of Germany and talks about the good history along with the bad, but mostly shows all the work done to bring back these very important sites and personalities of Greman-Jewish Heritage. Most Americans don't even know most Christmas Songs were written by German-Jews. Mainly (and I'll Shut up) don't buy German means not buying from German-Christians and German-Jews and lately Muslims that are finding their way here. That's my fear(Muslims in Europe), not German-Christians! Gott gezint ont adank, deine Katharina von Brandtstein-Rosenberg

(290) Sandy, November 2, 2008 12:11 PM

Kate is correct

I researched it. Sadly, this site will not allow a posting of another site, so try as I did, it rejected it. However, Krupps and Krups are two vastly different things. The small appliance corporation (1 "P" had zero to do with the killing of Jewish people. THAT WAS the one with two "P"s..... I stand very corrected and my sinceredt THANK YOU to Kate. My GE is 10 years old. For Hanukkah I will upgrade top a new Krups ! Macy's carries them, that I know.

(289) Kate, October 28, 2008 1:12 AM

Krups did NOT "build the gas chambers"

Google it...it's all rumors, but the facts are out there. Yes, Krups is German, but they had nothing to do with the Holocaust, they are not "killers" Sandy. In fact they only produced scales for the first 100 years they were in business, it wasn't until 1956 that they started manufacturing small applainces, starting with the coffee grinder. Many websites will explain this, this is from one of them called the straight dope: Krups is probably being confused with the Krupp works, for many years the leading German munitions maker. (You've heard of Big Bertha, the giant cannon used by the Germans during World War I? It was named after Bertha Krupp, the wife of the family-owned firm's patriarch.) Krupp didn't make crematoria either, but it did use 100,000 slave laborers to make weapons at Auschwitz and other death camps. Boss Alfried Krupp was sentenced to 12 years for war crimes but was freed in 1951--cynics say because the Korean War had just broken out and the U.S. needed Krupp's industrial might as a bulwark against the Reds. Its assets restored, Krupp again became a corporate giant and remains so today. Krupp doesn't make consumer products. *Please get your facts straight so people stop posting rumors. Thanks

(288) Susan, October 16, 2008 10:45 PM

No to buying German!

Hello, I amm not a child of the Holocaust.I am a secular Jew. However I do not buy German.I agree with you. There are other products not made in Germany.

(287) Sandy Blockofsky, August 19, 2008 3:40 PM

I mostly agree with the man.

I will purchase German products, but not those of which I am aware that they are owned by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or Volkswagon. I have made a long and deep study of the Holocaust and the OWNERS of the Mercedes-Benz copmpany were convicted of having worked Jewish people to death and of building the war planes to kill mass numbers of Jewish people. Frednand Porsche was a pal of Hitler's and made the VW for Germans as a present to the people of Germany after the so-called "war". BMW ran the printing press industry, turning out millions of printed sheets backing hitler. Audi, BTW, stood up to hitler, and rescued 96 Jewish Folks by hiding them in a false floor in their assembly plant that had been converted into a comic book printing press to entertain the German children & keep then happy, while Mommy & Daddy were killing people.The reason hitler and his National Socialist Party did NOT Nationalize BMW & Mercedes after the "war" was due to the support they gave hitler during the "war" ~ Audi was Nationalized & then put out of business, for their "lack of understanding...." So, Corporations that began after hitler's demise whose products are sold in the USA, I will buy, as a 2nd choice to those made in America, who always comes first in my book. I would never own a Bowel Movement Working (BMW) nor a Miserable Bends, nor a Porch, nor a Wee-Foks-Whagon. My famimly ALWAYS owned Imperials, or Chrysler New Yorkers, that is until they prostituted themselves and sold to the sons & daughters of the Bund. Now, we drive Cadillacs & Lincolns, and you, up top there, I know all about Henry Ford. But....do YOU know that FoMoCo built truck assembly plants in Israel, and sold those trucks at near cost, to aid & assist Jewish people in Israel fighting the 7-Day War, as well as more recent confects. Do you up top herein know that the ONLY Jewish person to head up an American Car Corporation is the current President of Ford Motor Company? Yes, sir, Mr. Mark Fields of New Jersey is the current President of Ford of America !! So, I drive a Lincoln Town Car and a Mustang GT Convertible. I would never ever buy "hitler's hardware" car. There may have been Jew-Haters in other countries (France, etc...) but none have ever attempted to exterminate us as thou were were ants. None ever killed us in such numbers. BTW, do YOU know who built & tested the Gas Chambers? KRUPS, the coffee maker company AND Volkswagon. (My coffee maker is a GE ~ they bring good things to LIFE, 'ya know.....Not killers.) If you are Jewish, and you do not agree with me.... I support your views, because I live & pray in a free county called America, and you owe the same to me, otherwise in a far lessor extent....we are no better than hitler, another intolerant SOB. BTW, I just checked & lo & behold MY vacuum cleaner is made in Germany. Figures...... They suck good.

(286) jim, July 30, 2008 12:43 PM

silly question ...

... of course it's all right to buy German products. Folks need to move forward with no hate, only then will this forever fighting planet survive. Let go and let God ! PEACE PLEASE

(285) Bell, March 7, 2008 8:06 AM

comment by a non-jew

I am considering becoming Jewish. I have been a devote christian most of my life. I found Aish.com about a month ago when I did a search for "jewish meaning of life." Every day, Aish.com has touched my heart, mind, and soul in a way that no other religion ever has. However, your attitude toward Germans does not draw me closer to the Jewish faith, but makes me more cautious and hesitate. I was raised Catholic and I was raised to hate Hilter for what they did to the Jewish people, but I do not hate the German people. Did you not say in a previous talk that we should have "baseless love" towards those who have hurt us in the past. This attitude is powerful and nourishes my soul. Your resentment of the Germans does not.

May God heal your pain and resentment.

(284) sam lewin, March 2, 2008 3:19 PM

the problem is morphing.

Boycotting German products today will leave most of us in a pickle.Open your computer,you will find a part with at least German origin. Same goes for cars. Surprise, surprise, your Chrysler Crossfire is a Mercedes CLK in 'disguise'.Rolls Royce and Bentley are German today and so is the Mini, the list can go on and on. AND DONT FORGET, GERMANY AND JAPAN WERE WW11 BUDDIES. As a matter of fact,the Citroen C1,Peogeot107 and Toyota Yaris share the same engine. Oh, and by the way, Henry Ford was an anti semite and did not employ Jews.

Don't even look at the cell phone industry.

How are you going to justify flying on an Airbus???????

Did you know Jews were banned from England only 3 or 4 centuries ago??
History will also reflect other Holocasts, all the way back to Greek and Roman times.

I'm sorry to say the world is shrinking and the venom must also stop.It might just bite back.

There is probably Arab fuel in your fuel tank right now.

As a Jew, I do understand your point,and YES--DONT EVER FORGET--but the time has come to put our energy to newer problems. The Muslim Fundamentalists should be your problem now. They don't even want us or Israel to exist.Period!!!!!!!!!


(283) Pinchas, February 24, 2008 7:59 PM

The real question

I do suspect that this is actually a halachic question if somone is resouceful enough. For example,personally, my biggest question is a question of buying French wine or Israeli wine, after a brief contemeplation, I always go for the Israeli wine. In terms of buying many German and European products the question is what are the alternatives, who will it effect, and is it making a statement. Buying a Mercedes Benz or a VW, given the history of these companies and the strong historical associations, is sending the wrong message. However, the real question lyes in trying to fanthom how such an industrious country could have fallen to such decadence...
As noted by other comments, today the real issue is where to we buy our oil..

(282) Sam Hirschman, January 23, 2008 11:59 AM

I try not to buy German products

For years I have tried not to buy German products. Some survivors that I spoke with thought that it was extreme.
When I lived in New York, I always purchased Dove soap. For 13 years I have been living in Israel and it really bothers me that Dove soap sold in Israel is made in Germany. One item I could never buy from Germany is soap. When I complained to the company and told them that it was insensitive of them to import soap from Germany and that they should import it from a different country, they gave a lame excuse that it is not under their control - they are part of an international organization.
I totally understand and agree with you.

(281) Milton Hillman, MD, January 21, 2008 4:32 PM

The Germans could not have done it without a little help from their neighbors.

Many years ago my axxociateLudwig, lost his entire family to the holocaust while he was studying medicine in England. He always had 2 cars- a VW and a Mercedes because "the war was over." Stalin had plans to exterminate the survivors of the holocaust but died before he could bring his plans to fruition. Note that the copmps were not in Denmark where the local population where not have cooperated but were in places like Poland, Germany, etc. where the locals were thrilled to assist in the biggest robeery in the history of the world.bMy accountant asked his rabbi if he should buy a mercedes because it was a great automobile, esp. compared with the American pieces of junk.His rabbi also said that the war was over. It is a good way to look at your deceased Jewish relative's dental fillings as they are in the trim and other ares of the German automobiles. Of course many other peoples also were wiped out in the camps.The Germans would do it again if they could.

(280) Ana, January 21, 2008 3:37 AM

Purchasing from Germany

Dear Rabbi;

Perhaps a few people know that under the influence of N Germany, Panama was burden with antisemitism in the 1940's at at the hand of President Arnulfo Arias Madrid. Growing up, I learned from my Grandmother that her brother was kill for being a Jew in Panama in the 1940. I grew up listening to the stories of the Holocaust and although not known relatives perished in Germany, my people did. When making a car purchasing decision I chose to purchase a Hummer instead of a trendy VW Jeta made in Germany.
I forgive the Germans for the demise of jews, but I don't forget there actions. In our eyes, Germany is culpable for expanding an idiology of hatred that caused the perpetuated crime of my Uncle's killing, expropriated my family, and dispersed a generation. The waves of hatred are never measured. I don't hate anyone, but just as a matter of personal choice, I don't buy from Germany.

(279) Ad Hammingh, January 15, 2008 8:22 AM

The working Germans of today were children during the war and suffered. They should no longer be punished for the sins of the fathers.

So I buy German product and travel to Germany. I needed also some healing of the wounds from the war.

(278) hadassa, January 9, 2008 8:56 AM

I'm with you, Rabbi.

My parents, may they rest in peace, were both survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. I will carry with me the pain and trauma of their suffering, pain and loss for the rest of my life. Even my children are very much affected by the knowledge of their grandparents' tragedy. It sickens me that the perpetrators of this enormous crime against our people are, once again, strong and powerful. It's probably true that no nation is guilt-free when it comes to anti-semitism, either overt or otherwise, but Germany is a standout, not only in the 20th century - during the Middle Ages they shed rivers of Jewish blood. So no, I don't buy German products.

(277) Ruby Harris, January 3, 2008 12:37 AM

Today's enemy is Islam, not Germany

My mother still won't buy a Japanese car, but for us, it's no longer a problem: If I were to boycott countries that hate Jews, guess what: they're everywhere (to an extent). Germans, Spanish Inquisition, Kossaks, Ukrains, Romans, Greeks, etc., they all had their day, but today it's the Muslims.
If you choose your battles, Christians are relatively subdued today, while Islamic nations are actively murdering Jews (and others) worldwide! We have a clear major danger today, and there are substantial amounts of Christians who actually like Israel and the Jews because they've finally become aware that their hero and all (most) of his apostles were Jewish, and their writings say we are the Holy people and Israel is the Holy Land. But Islam is bent on Jihad, and they're propagating Mein Kampf and the Protocols today, not Germany.
Things have changed.

(276) Yocheved, January 1, 2008 2:14 PM

As Jews, we are not ruled by our emotions. We do what the halacha says regardless of what our emotions tell us. Obviously, this issue has nothing to do with halacha, but if you need something that is only made in Germany, or they make it the best-and you need that, there shouldn't be a second thought not to get it. We can't help what's happened by not buying this product, and we have to just rely on G-d to take revenge for what they did.

(275) Alan Margolies, January 1, 2008 1:23 PM

What you do is fine.

What you do is right for you. What the Nazi's did to us - yes,us - is somehow mistaken by a generation who is farther away from it in years. American Jews, especially, want to disassociate themselves with the European Jews of WWII, but that is what saddens me. They are we and we are they.

You should do what is right for you. The more the world changes, the more it stays the same.

How easy it is to condemn others' actions...how much more difficult it is to condemn our own.

Do we forgive Nebachudnezzer? We certainly do not forget. But, time has a way of healing wounds.

How can one say you contribute to discrimination when the people of Germany during WWII let 6,000,000 Jews be murdered, tortured, skinned alive, excrutiatingly experimented on...

I do not stand in your shoes, nor can I condemn you for buying anything German.

What saddens me is that there were and are today people who would do the same to the Jewish people, today.

Let me tell you what saddens me. It saddens me that I must buy gasoline for my car - including the outrages prices - that make it possible for the enemies of Israel and all my people to drain the U.S. and the world of it's economies. It saddens me that our politicians are influenced by that money and leave politics and lobby for the enemies of Israel (and do not kid yourself, the enemy of entire western world.

It saddens me that the Jews of this country, the world and yes, even Israel
are more interested in their luxuries than willing to fight for our right to exist.

So, do not buy German products, or French products, or Swedish products or Arab products (think Jews can live in that testament to Arab oil, Dubai?)or contribute to any economy that you perceive hurts you, your family and your people.

Who am I to judge you?




anything German.

(274) Haschile, December 30, 2007 4:00 PM

Without German Airplanes, There Won't Be No Israel

Dear Rabbi,

Your opinion is totally backwardish, bad-minded, racist and stupid...

Greetings,
Der Schnorrer Haschile

(273) Gary Katz, December 29, 2007 3:43 PM

Germany wasn't the only guilty party

I understand why many Jews would not buy German. However, many other countries were also to blame. How many fewer Jews would've been murdered without collaberation of the occupied countries? Should we boycott most of Europe's products? Something to think about.

(272) Anonymous, December 28, 2007 9:18 PM

With this reasoning, how can you buy American?

With all due respect, Rabbi, your feelings, though valid, are irrational, hypocritical, prejudice, and xenophobic. WIth this same reasoning, whose products do you feel are "clean" enough historically to purchase? The Swedes? Iceland? Maybe Tonga? Which country hasn't done wrong or supported questionable behavior in their past? Do you feel the same about buying products made in China? Cambodia? Vietnam? Japan?

With this reasoning, how can you buy Israeli products? Or, do you feel that every decision Israel has made--every action it has taken--reflects your values? While Israel is still locked into a battle to defend itself, does that legitimize every action they've taken?

And what of our own country? Do you really feel that the USA hasn't fomented war and injustice in the world? Is it OK with you that the corruption, tyranny, and even bloodshed we've supported around the world, including Somoza, Pinochet, Hussien, etc., are OK since these people aren't Jews? What about MacCarthy inside the USA? Shouldn't you still be punishing your own country for turning back the Jews in their hour of need back in the 1940s?

What saddens me is the continuation of the circle of discrimination and your contribution to it. To me, it's not an attractive Jewish trait nor one I want to claim in my own Judiasm.

(271) Anonymous, December 27, 2007 6:46 PM

I have a hard time buying anything from
Germany,it makes me feel like I am
supporting financially relatives of those who over 60 years ago; destroyed
my parent's family and all their extended family. Consumer goods and
hi tech products make our lives easier;
we enjoy them. I just can't stomach the
idea that a product which I rely on
and which makes my life easier was made
by a grandchild or great-grandchild of
a kiiler.

(270) HAROLD LACKMAN, December 26, 2007 2:40 PM

Complete support for the video

As a North American born Jew, whose parents were born in Canada and whose grandparents on both sides arrived from Russia in the early 1900's, I avoid German products whenever I can. To the best of my knowledge, my family lost no close relatives in the holocaust. Yet I can not stomach the thought of buying a German product.

(269) a Hoffman, December 26, 2007 9:29 AM

German Products and Care Our Deeds Affects

Wrongs of another generation aren't the acts the people today.
Since we affect future generations, we must not be those who press the past on to those who not personally culpable.
Two reasons:
#1. We know the Torah shows responsibility to fall on those who are at fault, as well as telling us we aren't to cause another to be injured by false testimony.
#2: We will blacken our record by blaming those who did not participate.
This can affect our future generations adversely.This is another ill,which must be considered seriously.

(268) Bruno Gideon, December 26, 2007 8:00 AM

Buying German products?

I juest heard Rabbi Salomon's comment about buying or not buying German products. I have personal experience with Germany during WW2 but today I strongly think that we should let go of our anger and move ahead. Why? For two reasons, one being that all the brutal Nazis of that time are gone. What we deal with today are their children and grandchildren. They haven't participated in the Holocaust. And the second reason, if we hold on to our anger and can't let go, we eventually only hurt ourselves. And who would want to do that our of his free will?

(267) Allen Bodenheim, December 25, 2007 6:51 PM

No to German products

Of principle, I do NOT buy German products. It is my way of saying that I will NEVER forget what the Germans did to the Jews. It is my way of protesting that I never had grandparents. It is my way of saying that regardless of how good the German product may be, I am not swayed by materialistic matters over principle.

(266) Renate, December 25, 2007 2:08 PM

Sorry

Dear Rabbi Yaakov Salomon!
I am German (37 years old ) and I just want to say that I am very, very sorry for what the Germans did to your family and to millins of jews and I want to ask you for forgiveness.
Renate

(265) Mordechai Klein, December 24, 2007 9:36 PM

Why Not buy German??What's WRONG??

I did not see a reason given other than Rabbi Salomon's personal feelings. I don't think feelings should dictate a person's desire to spread any negative action, such as not purchasing ... because it's German and my feelings won't allow me to do so. It's fine to have those feelings, but don't publicize it in a column.
BUT, there may be a Torah reason to not buy German. There may be a reason to BOYCOTT German goods (as much as we can) even at the expense of comfort. The Torah reason is be NEKAMA!
Hashem is Kail Kana VeNokeim! G-D of VENGENCE! There is a Halachah of Goail Hadam. Nekama, not in a "Get Even" way, but in a "Seeking Justice" way, is the Torah way. No, we should not go 60 years later and kill the great grandchildren of my grandparents murderers. But justice dictates, that even a hundred years after the country that murdered and then stole the gold teeth from my grandparents dead bodies to fill its coffers, should not be adding money to those same coffers thru my purchases! Jews lived in Germany and all of Europe since before the times of the Rishonim all the way until WW2. All of Europe was full of Jews. Other then a sprinkle of Jews, there is not and will never again be such a strong pressence of Jews in Europe only because of what Germany, along with all their accomplices, did. So, Nekama - JUSTICE, dictates that we do not say Appology accepted, and now we're best friends again. The finger pointing and blaming may no longer be applicable, but keeping a distance is the Justice that we must do.
As to the prefered trading status of Israel & Germany, you and I were not asked whether it should happen; today it's a fact. I would not have chosen it, but others did. That does not make it JUST, nor does it mean that it's the Torah way.

(264) Martin Broschowitz, December 24, 2007 11:30 AM

I avoid using or buying German-made products

What saddens me more, are the Jews choosing to return to live in Germany, Poland and places where we have been persecuted. They have a country now.. why are they not moving there?

(263) ruthbaker, December 24, 2007 11:15 AM

Forgive. . . that you be forgiven. . .

If we do not forgive, we cannot be forgiven. . .we must live our faith . . .

(262) Miriam, December 24, 2007 10:10 AM

Cannot bear to see the words "made in Germany"

Many heimishe people think I'm weird for refusig to wear or buy German electronics etc. Maybe because both my parents were survivors, and I was born right after the war and the holocaust was so very real to me - but when I see the word German or hear German spoken it just sets off a visceral loathing for them and I think of them as Amalekim "Mochor Timcha as Zecher Amalek!!!

(261) Anonymous, December 24, 2007 9:47 AM

we do'nt buy german

when buying a sewing machine in BP, wer refursed agerman model. a geltleman came over, shook my husband's hand a related that he paid many extra $ to purchase nongerman factory equipment-many of the modest ,fashionable, good quality ladies' clothing sold in PB is Grmn-it's a ubiquitous issue

(260) Freddy Maier, December 24, 2007 8:43 AM

It is not a boycott !

I read all the comments and see the word boycott come again and again. It has nothing to do with it. I was born after the war and for more than 50 years I did not buy German or Austrian and never set a foot in Germany or Austria. First of all, for me it is a question of feelings. I have a bad feeling every time I listen to German, every time I see a German product. I think that there are so many countries to visit in the world that Germany and Austria can easily be put on the bottom of the list, without prejudice. Last year I had to fly with Lufthansa via Frankfurt and I felt very bad. I felt bad in the plane, I felt bad when I was served my kosher food by the German flight attendant, I felt bad during the 2 hours stop in Frankfurt airport. It is not a question about forgiving or not. Who am I to forgive any German in the name of the dead members of the Jewish People. The Germans will never be forgiven as the ones who could forgive have been killed....
That is what I feel and how I feel. I might be wrong but still....it is deep in me !

(259) Lazar, December 23, 2007 5:13 PM

German products

I think it is absolutely ridiculous for Jews to refuse to buy German products. The Holocaust was perpetrated by the mostly dead grandparents of the people who are now living in Germany. The younger generations of Germans whom I have met are absolutely not antisemitic; if anything they are as ashamed as anyone else of the horrors that their grandparents' generation committed. On another level, I think it is time that, without forgetting the Shoah, we really have to start basing Judaism on something other than the 20th century's two Idols in the Temple; i.e. the Holocaust and the State of Israel. Although, having attended Hassidic yeshivos, I have many friends whose parents were survivors and who feel the same as you , they are not particularly well educated, and I am surprised to hear someone who otherwise seems intelligent spouting such narishkeit. All that this kind of attitude can possibly accomplish is an increase in the amount of bitterness in the world's atmosphere, and a lending of credibility to those who say that Israel should be boycotted because of the way it treats its Arabs.

בכבוד רב, ×NSM_BADCHAR=<0x90>ליעזר

(258) rochelle marshall, December 23, 2007 2:09 PM

it's emotional not logical

I cannot buy German. Even the sound of the language has an effect on me. I know all the arguements and they are correct, but that doesn't change my neshoma

(257) David, December 23, 2007 2:22 AM

I also have refused to buy German products. In particular, Volkswagon was created by Hitler so that every German could have a car. I have also heard ( but have no proof ) that Seimens built the ovens used in the consentration camps. As a Radiology Administrator I have refused to meet with their sales reps.
My only question is, for how long should we refuse German products? I buy Spanish goods and they hosted the Inquisition. My thoughts are to wait until all survivors and the children of survivors have passed on. To play it safe this would mean refusing German products for another 75 years.

(256) David, December 22, 2007 11:07 PM

These companies were built on dead jewish slave laborers

I agree that the Germans of today are not the Germans of WWII era Germany, but that is only for the middle class.
The children of the upper class that orchestrated the Holocaust - and financed and benefited from the Nazi regime still hate us, as they were raised to. The lower class in Germany, as in most western counties, also blame the Jews for their financial woes.
The people that financially benefit when you buy German TODAY are the upper class (executives and owners) and the lower class (factory workers), both groups that would gladly follow hitler if he were still alive today.

By the way, there are still fascist right wing parties in Germany, as well as Jewish cemetery and Synagogue desecrations going on IN 2007!
Go figure???

On top of all that I stated above, most of these companies would not even exist without Jewish slave labor and without supplying the Nazi war machine.
People forget that not everyone worked for Oscar Schindler. When someone lagged behind while producing a Benz officer car, a BMW plane, a Porsche tank or a Hugo Boss soldiers uniform, they did not get docked pay - they received a bullet in the head and were then traded in for another Jew from their never ending stock. Maybe it wasn't so bad and they were only beaten to within an inch of their life or if a woman, just physically assaulted (yes, I am being sarcastic).

Are you so desperate for status or gas mileage that you can't drive a non-german car or use a non-german kitchen appliance?
Yes, the Japanese committed atrocities to people during the war, but they did save lots of Jews during WWII that came through Japan en route to Shanghai (ever hear of the Mir Yeshiva???). My friend's grandfather who was part of the Jewish Community in Japan at the time received a lot of assistance from the Japanese government in helping these people.
I think you can feel more comfortable driving a Lexus than a Benz or a Toyota Prius than a Volkswagen Golf, because the Japanese never smashed Jewish babies against walls for fun (sorry to be so graphic) - and the German's did.

Also, if we ever achieve peace with the Arabs, I will hope and pray that my descendants do not buy Hamas or PLO brand anything.

Wake up, be proud of who you are and -
Believe the Hype!
David

PS: Bravo Rabbi Salomon for stating your opinion!

(255) Lucym London UK, December 22, 2007 7:45 PM

When we feel they deeply regret we can forgive naturally

Someone made a good point – there must be something that hasn't been settled – I think this is true – there are still rampant Nazi groups existing in Germany today, which have connections with other such groups all over the world. Has Germany come to terms with its past? Let's be honest - we are waiting for intense guilt, shame, perhaps a crippling realisation of wrongs that would make them cry out for forgiveness and mercy, for some kind of national sharing of our feelings to show they have connected to us as human beings and can feel our suffering as though it was their own. Exhibitions about German Youth (mentioned by Bill Merill) are not enough of a demonstration of the reaction I think many are looking for. Saying it wasn't us, we didn't know what was going on, we were forced to – these are not the words we feel we deserve as human beings. Until we get the reaction we are expecting, we do not have genuine grounds for forgiving naturally. The question is, how do we continue leading fruitful lives and enjoy every minute possible with Germans who wish us no ill will where the recognition and acknowledgement have not fully taken place? I think there are two levels – relationships where you look forward constructively out of religious principle and relationships where your inner heart feels satisfied. We have to admit that whilst much of the world do not share our faith which plugs morals deep into our very beings, most of our interactions with less moralistic nations will be unsatisfying to our inner hearts. We can only hope to teach from example, and hope our values rub off on the world.

May your lives be filled with peace and happiness!! :)

(254) janet kaiman, December 22, 2007 6:46 PM

This topic was a discussion at our Shabbat table last week.
I have mixed feelings about buying German products and strong feelings about NOT buying products from France. My generation is feeling more hatre against the Jews from France and French politics than from Germany, so I question buying proucts made in France...

(253) Linda, December 22, 2007 6:16 PM

My emotions won't allow me to buy German products

because everytime I see a German car or another item made in Germany, I always feel sad and angry at what the Germans did to so many innocent people and I cannot reward them with my hard earned dollars.

(252) Anonymous, December 22, 2007 5:52 PM

When I visited my grandson studying in frankfut this summer, I was uncomfortable with thoughts what happened 60 years ago.
But if we do not forgive we are not following the precepts of Judaism, nor are we cleansing our own souls.

(251) wa lee, December 22, 2007 1:02 PM

no to german mfg goods

i could not bear it within me to buy german made or owned goods after the horrendous murdering of the innocents that that country took a glorious part in participating in. their aim was to exterminate all the jews and they ferociously persued this goal. the magnitude of the crime was so great that it warrants jews to not buy german ( although it is an individual choice). my revulsion towards them extends to an american, namely henry ford, who also reviled the jews and was a hero of that disgusting creature adolph.

(250) Cella, December 22, 2007 11:40 AM

German products?

This is such an interesting topic. I have noticed a visceral response within myself and a different awareness with German products, as well as anything German. I am of German ancestry and my grandfather fought in WWII against the Nazis. There is still lots of anti-semitism in Germany and all around the world. I can celebrate my German heritage and still not feel motivated to seek first for a German product, like I would "made in the USA" of "Made in Israel." It is fascinating to notice my feelings with buying something American or Israel, as compared to products from Germany, France, China, etc. I feel like I am "helping" Americans and Israelis when buying their products, but won't limit myself to only those products. I guess I buy on a hierarchy.

(249) Reg Saretsky, December 22, 2007 10:37 AM

Thank you, Jonathan!

You summed up what I attempted say. As a non - Jew who lives in an area where Jews are now a valued part of society,( Canada) , but which refused to accept pre war jewish refugees ( "One Is Too Many" is a book well worth reading ) I have seen anti Semitism diminish in two generations.

The world's people do not grasp history past their lifetime. hence, Israel is seen as a 'bully' & "occupier" rather than a refuge.

Anti German Hysteria is at best a waste of time. the real battle is to save Israel.

(248) Michael Rubin, December 22, 2007 10:25 AM

Let's read Vladimir Jankelevitch

Jankelevitch was the son of Russian Jewish parents, who had emigrated to France. In 1922 he started studying philosophy at the École normale supérieure in Paris, under Professor Bergson. In 1939 he joined the French Resistance. After the war, in 1951, he was appointed to the chair of Moral Philosophy at the Sorbonne, where he taught until 1978.

He was TOTALLY opposed to any forgiveness of the crimes of Nazism.

You should read his book L'Imprescriptible.

(247) gilly, December 22, 2007 9:54 AM

I agree Rabbi

I agree with you Rabbi though there is no rhyme or reason to it, I cannot buy German products either. Though my brain tells me how excellently the products are made, my heart wont let me support the country that slaughtered 6 million Jewish souls. It's not a question of forgiveness, I have German friends, I hold nothing against them but I can never forget, we can never forget what happened there.

(246) larence freedman, December 22, 2007 9:22 AM

I feel the same as the rabbi, my father was in the RAF during the war and altough i was not affected by the war i cannot buy german products, it seems just a betrail of the many deaths

(245) Anonymous, December 22, 2007 8:49 AM

Forgive or Forget-NEVER!

When the Berlin Wall was torn down, I
felt a chill go down my spine. Will I
ever knowingly buy a product made in Germany? NO! I have studied a lot of history and I learned that history tends to repeat itself. I still don't
trust a unified Germany and never will.

(244) Chana, December 21, 2007 8:51 PM

Never products from Germany

Dear Rabbi,
With great interest I read all the responses to your video. I especially liked the one from "Jerry Brodi". Mr.Brodi must have been talking to my parents or some mysterious jewish connection existed there, for both my parents always referred to Germany as that "Nazicountry"#1 and "Nazicountry"#2 for Austria.
My great grandparents fled Vienna and came via France and Belgium to Holland.
I will not take time to describe the agony and the life-long pain they carried with them to their graves. The pain they endured because they were jews. We survived World War II, only barely and in our family there never was any question of bringing in a product manufactured in Naziland.

For all those people (especially the non-jewish ones), commenting and insinuating that the Rabbi should be ashamed to have such thoughts and that the modern day german does not deserve such attitudes, I have this to say:
Make no mistake, anti-semitism is very much alive and well in Naziland still and not only through the generation of Hitler's henchmen but through their off-spring as well.
It may be very insignificant for me to boycott anything from Naziland, but in doing so I honor all those of us who suffered unspeakably through the hands of the nazis and who vowed to never forget.

(243) Margarita, December 21, 2007 1:49 PM

what about made in united arab emirats or their airlines?

i think that jews have no choice in matter and we should try to pick our current enemies. it drives me crazy when i go to kosher store and i cannot see made in Israel. made in germany is not the biggest problem. what about spain - crusadors, or italy? what about malaysia? they are so horrible to jews, but we buy... i think that we should stop flying emirats and buying their products. we should support Israel and i have to argue with kosher caterer to buy at least wine made in Israel. why??????????????



(242) Lynnetta, December 21, 2007 12:52 PM

What about the other countries that assisted ??

Rabbi, I will partly agree with you but what about the other countries that helped the Nazis ?? Should we buy their products or not ?? What about the German car manufacturing plants that are on U.S. soil that give jobs to Americans ?? What about buying a product that is made by a jew in Germany ?? Are you going to ban that product too ?? A situation has happened within my family. We have family in a mining state that lost their jobs due to the change in buying of cars to Japan. My husband and I live in a different state over 800 miles away, where a Japanese automaker has a manufacturing plant. We bought a car that was made at that plant. When they found out they got mad at us because of what has happened up there but we were proud to buy a car that was made just down the street. Granted, no lives were lost but there are still strong feelings. Now a days there is way to much "gray areas" and it is hard to say really why not to buy certain products, I think.

(241) Brian Silvey, December 21, 2007 8:11 AM

Why do German products represent Nazis?

R'Solomon,
In general, I agree with your perspective, however, I have two points to make on what I considered your weakest argument in the video, that some products are manufactured in Germany and others are manufactured for German companies.

1) Today's economy is far more complex than the post-WWI era economy. There is much more to say here, but I will reserve comments on my limited knowledge of facts.
2) Given the global economy of today is so complex, the underlying question for me is "why do these German products of today represent the Nazi regime of the 1930's?"

As mentioned in previous commentaries, there are many nations who have brutalized our people, desecreated our Torah, maligned or deligitimized our Holy Land, and philosophically argued against the very existence of Hashem.

Unless a clear connection can be shown that the execuitves of any company condone values that attack the Jewish people, the Torah, or Hashem, I can uncomfortably justify purchasing their products.

(240) Anonymous, December 21, 2007 7:02 AM

its personal

My grandparents were surivors and after losing their families to the Nazis they were not able to forgive and forget, and so they did not purchase German products. Can anyone blame them? Of course not. But one may say that I, as a 3rd generation survivor should be able to have a different perspective. My grandparents did not buy German because they would have been buying from Nazis. I dont think they would have been ok buying from their grandkids either. In their honor, I do not buy German.

(239) Max, December 21, 2007 4:37 AM

Don't judge

The people who made the vaccumm aren't the same people who tortured so many jews. You don't personally know them, their politics, their beliefs, values, etc... You have to realize that you are lumping all of Germany into one category and that is stereotyping. You can't judge a person based on what their parents are like, or what their ancestors did, because they have no control over that, and you shouldn't punish them simply for being associated with them. Judaism says that everyone is capable of doing good things and making good moral decisions, so don't punish modern Germans for things they personally haven't done. Give them a chance before you make up your mind.

(238) Jonathan, December 21, 2007 2:15 AM

The Germans are not the Nazis anymore....

Rabbi with all due respect this is a very primitive view you have towards German made products. The 3rd generation of children these days have no interest in hating Jews or any other race.
Hitler was just a very 'smart' man; he knew how to use the media to his advantage and propagate all issues of the economy and direct it towards the Jews around Europe. At that time after only just recovering from the Great Depression people were looking for an easy way out, to become rich again and most of all to take revenge on the world for humiliating them from the end of WW1 when they had to forfeit a lot of their rights.
Anyway enough history lessons, the point i'm attempting to convey is that the German people were brainwashed, they were desperate and the Jewish people were a perfect scapegoat as everyone had already been jealous of the Jews high income and high status in German society.
Hitler made them into savages, and every Nazi deserved to die because of that. However, this is not the case anymore. Germany have woken up to the fact that the Jews are their best ally and have always been...the modern world is not like it anymore.
Now we must focus our attention on the last remaining savages on this planet, those who live and support the destruction of the State of Israel.
Rabbi, you should not have to think twice when purchasing German made products any longer, but contemplate when buying Arab made products from Arab states. For God's sake, most of the world's oil that we use to run our cars on are drilled from the Arab oil rich states. Maybe you shouldn't drive a car and buy a fully electric car. "Ok" you say, "but not all Arabs hate Jews or Zionists". Does it not say in the torah those who stay silent are just as bad as those who perpetrate the act? If Arabs really didn't hate us then there would be mass protests to force Ahmadinejad to stand down, and even be executed for his hateful crimes.
These are my thoughts Rabbi, and you should consider them (if you even read these 'talkbacks) as time goes on and Israel is becoming more and more isolated from those that vow to send them back into the sea.

(237) Tikvah, December 21, 2007 12:57 AM

Not comfortable with it

I don't buy German products--not because I can create a logical argument against it that would pass muster in a courtroom or a classroom, but because my conscience will not allow me to do so.

(236) Brain, December 21, 2007 12:50 AM

I am a german jew I own a vw golf tdi because it gets 44 mpg. I understand your hatred my father was German and my mother an sabra. I will always find my self torn by anger of history and my heritage.I'm proud of my father he was a navy veteran who helped stop the nazis. I will always hold the same feelings you have but forgiveness has to come from your heart not mine and how can you forgive the dead. It's for Adoni to judge we can not change the past only accept it and make sure it never happens again. When ever I see a bwm or mercades logo I think of the spinning propeller what it represented it sickens me but I drive the car of the people what does it say of me. I asked my mother this once and she said Brian it's a car but the man who drives it was a good Marine a great father and grandfather who made me very proud.I have found that I will always question everything I do.I hope that's what makes me good jew and a fair man,I don't know it's not my call but I do know one thing it's man job to judge all even ones self and hashem's job to know all. As for your video keep the hatred brother it makes a man strong does that make sense. Shalom for Israel todah for the space and good luck with your hatred I keep mine close to my heart SEMPERFI Brain

(235) Mark Berkman, December 20, 2007 11:19 PM

We try to avoid buying German products

We believe that every society has a certain soul. My subjective belief is that the Germans may put a smile towards Jews, perhaps out of guilt, but there is no real remorse for the killing of Jews. To see this, one does not have to go back to the Holocaust. Look what happened in Munich at the Olympics. After refusing Israeli assistance, and botching the rescue, Germany created a fake hijacking so as to release the terrorists they had captured. This to me, is a society that views Jewish blood as a cheap commodity. I have no intention of ever visiting Germany, and I prefer not to economically support them.

(234) Jossef, December 20, 2007 9:02 PM

Forget the German cars what about the world's oil?

Dear Rabbi,
I usually agree with, and learn from your drashot.
I have a Jewish friend who survived a WW2 Japanese prisoner of war camp in the Far East. The Japanese have never acknowledged the murder, rape and pillage of WW2. Never paid reparations, and conditions were such in those camps that would have made some Germans caps, like a holiday home. Using your reasoning, we should also boycott Japanese goods, but what household can survive today without them?

The Arab countries that dispossed and evicted nearly a millions Jews since the establishment of Eretz Israel, and demand "ther right of return" with European support, supply the world with fuel. They murder and assist in murdering Israeli's in particular, but swear death or submission to Infidels which means everyone who is not Muslim. Are you not going to buy fuel for your American car or to heat your home?
I hear what you say, you acknowledge it is "emotion", but it is surely not Torah Judaism.

(233) Anonymous, December 20, 2007 8:39 PM

I fully agree...

All four of my grandparents were survivors. When seeing a German made product, like my mother before me, I hesitate to purchase it. Hearing the German language spoken also makes me cringe. I consider myself to be a third generation survivor. Having parents who were second generation survivors raise me, has had a strong impact on who I am. I feel very strongly from personal experience amongst peers that having European (survivor) grandparents or American grandparents makes a world of a difference in our personal identity.

(232) Horst, December 20, 2007 8:22 PM

to buy or not to buy....teach or hide the truth

THIS WAS SENT TO ME BY A GOOD FRIEND WHO HAS ASKED ME TO PASS IT ON. HOPE YOU WILL DO THE SAME IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE LOST.

It is a matter of history that when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect: "Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened."

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

Memorial Chain

This week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.

This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.

This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated.

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.

Don't just delete this. It will take a minute to pass this along.



(231) Benoît, December 20, 2007 5:47 PM

We cannot hate in our heart.

Dear Rabbi,
Your posture about today's Germany astonishes me, and makes me wonder... I'm proposing a reply. The Torah suggests that, in front of HaShem, we should not bear hatred to our "neighbour". Must we act in compliance with this outstandingly revolutionary imperative only as long as our neighbour is Jew? What does "in our heart" stands for, then? What if it was all about preventing ourselves from spoiling our very personality, and self, from things like hatred or grudge ? Surely there's a difference between grudge or hate and justice or simply faithful memory. There still must be things that have not yet been settled, I can't feel it in my flesh -I'm not a grandson of an Holocaust survivor, but ... maybe there's something to think about.

(230) Anonymous, December 20, 2007 3:18 PM

I am very glad that I have support to my thinking and hopefully actions. I do not have immediate relatives who have been through the holocaust but that doesn't make the pain any less. (thoughts from Jerusalem-where I live)

(229) Shmuel, December 20, 2007 2:59 PM

I can not forget the past

It is already years since my father passed away. His searing cries from nightmares have not faded from my memory. I can not and will not forget that they too were 'made in Germany'. Those who are willing to part with the past have likely not shared the hellish memories of the survivors. I wonder how many people who came out of the Nazi inferno are willing to forget this modern day Amalek.

(228) Leonard Fine, December 20, 2007 2:11 PM

Expressing such hate is not a Jewish thing

I am saddened to see such an outpouring of venomous hatered. The Holocaust is one incident in Jewish history but there are many more atrocities. Buy Russian? Buy Polish?buy Egyptian? buy Spanish? Buy Greek? and so on. Each responsible for huge losses of Jewish life and culture. A decision not to buy a particular product is ones own choice but the consideration of the implications of a global ecomony suggests you are buying something that is made, thought of, contributed to or even developed by Germans. I feel some editorial comment is required as this is very dangerous talk and care should be expressed when making such public statements. To hate with such intensity engenders similar hatered back and while I do not advocate ever forgetting such an atrocity as the Holocaust one needs balance in thought and deed to move on and live life for what it is, a gift from Hashem and we should do all to make our time here a blessing not a curse.

(227) Paul Slaton, December 20, 2007 1:30 PM

I don't feel the same.

I fled from Austria in 1939, my parents
did not make it and were killed.Yes,
I can't blame today's Germans for what
their grandparents did. Nazis and denial are illegal in Germany.

(226) Marina, December 20, 2007 1:02 PM

Your attitude makes me wonder and almost wander...

What does the Torah say? To forgive and forqet and to leave everything in His hands. Or, doesn't it?

(225) Giti, December 20, 2007 12:47 PM

is this a torah veiw? why stop at the Germans?

What about Spain- Spanish inquisition? Or Poland? The polish citizens were worse then the average German citizen this is ridiculous behavior boycotting it is a personal thing, not something to be posted on an asih web page. It is not a Jewish character trait to take revenge. We are better then them, our torah preaches not to take revenge. Who are you punishing anyhow? Each person is judge for what they do, not for what the fathers, or the country of origin did. Hashem built anti Semitism into this world for many reasons, we will never know why the holocaust happened. What about Russian products, there is no official number on how many of our brethren they slaughtered, and if you go through the world there is unfortunately no shortage of countrys that have evicted and slaughtered Jews. G-d runs the world every body should focus on being the best human they can be and Hashem will take care of punishing the evil.

(224) Bill Merrill, December 20, 2007 12:07 PM

Germany has come to terms with their past more than anyone else

As you said, the decision of whether or not to buy German products is ultimately an emotional one. Since we humans are emotional beings, it's not surprising that we make emotional decisions. For me, however, my emotions tell me that Germany has done more to come to terms with their past than any other country. Germany supports Israel. Germany has a Jewish community revival going on. Why would that be if the Jews there didn't feel safe or secure? In Germany, it's illegal to be a Nazi.
The last time I was in Germany, I was doing some contract work at a client in a pretty remote area of the Swabischen Alps - a bit northwest of Bavaria. This was not a place on the tourist trail. I saw a local cathedral in the town. In Germany, there are cathedrals in nearly every town, even the small remote ones. But Germans are not as religious as they used to be. The cathedral in this town had been converted into some kind of art gallery/museum. In it, they had a exhibition about the local history of the Hitler youth. There were examples of documents from the time that described how a local person joined the Hitler youth, and was never heard from again, and other things of that sort. This was definitely not anything pro-Nazi about this. But this was an exhibit for local Germans. Nothing was in English, and in any case, as I said, this town was not on the tourist trail. My knowledge of the German language is not perfect, but it's enough for me to read the exhibits and understand what was going on.
Why would there be such an exhibit in a relatively remote part of Germany? This is just another example of Germans coming to terms with their past.
Compare this to a place like Turkey, where it is illegal to call the Armenian genocide a genocide. Turkey is a wonderful country with a lot going for it, but for emotional reasons, they can't at all come to terms with their own past.
Germans are doing more to come to terms with their past than anyone else. I think this deserves to be recognized. So of course I have no problem traveling in Germany, or buying German products. That doesn't mean I'm not affected by visits to concentration camps or any of the other things that happened during WWII. It would not be appropriate to forget the past - but it's appropriate to not blame people for what is past, especially when most of the people in question were not even born when the events occurred.

(223) Rachel Janashvili, December 20, 2007 11:33 AM

I am not sure what to make of this?

Dear Rabbi Salomon,


Is it ok to live in America (assimilation is growing at an unbelievable rate), or better yet is it ok to live in Germany??? I am sure you are well aware of some prominent Rabbies that went to live in Germany & opened Yeshivas, how is that OK??? Oh, and how could we forget Russia, who shechted millions of jewish neshomas, communities full of Torah, how many frum people go back to Russia for business? or is it only OK when it comes to money?

Again, I am not sure what to make of this question, but it definitely makes me think of a lot that is going on among us. Hashem is running this world, Germans, Russians & many others who wish us bad are only the tools in Hashem's Hands. We are the problem!!! We are not united. To buy German products or not isn't our problem.

BTW, I do not & will not buy German products, (I try to buy Israeli products as much as I can) but that's a feeling I have, I can not force it on others, because it almost does not make sense, too many questions that I don't have answers for arise when I tell people I don't buy German products.

We enjoyed having you in Kew Gardens,

Regards,

Rachel

(222) Israel Mossman, December 20, 2007 11:28 AM

Consumer Reports: German cars not reliable.

It would bother me to drive any of the 3 cars you list. My wife barely escaped Nazi Germany. All her relatives were lost, but 2 who also escaped.

(221) David Fleisher, December 20, 2007 11:06 AM

A Look At The Bigger Picture

Rabbi,

No one should know more than you, as a mental health professional, that forgiveness can be healing and liberating.

During the War, the largest percentage of the German people did not know about the atrocities being committed by the Nazis. By the end of 1939, when some of those right-minded folks figured out some of the things that the Nazis were doing, they were powerless to do anything about them.

It seems that even through the end of the war, the largest portion of the German people wanted nothing to do with Nazism or with war-making. Yes, as a fellow human being, an American and a Jew, I would prefer to see the companies that willingly supported Hitler's goals publicly and continuously admit to their involvement and guilt and ask for forgiveness. But, over time, the shame, greed, denial, ignorance and inability to accept guilt factors of negative "human nature" have gotten in the way on both sides of the issue.

Personally, I am struggling with some of some of the wrong-minded actions perpetrated by our government against some people and other nations since the creation of our country in my name....and yours. What comes closest to mind is our recent and improper invasion of Iraq. Weather we are willing to admit to it or not, this is a large part of one of the biggest "pease issues" of our time.

If there was any move by any country that rivals the Japanese, German and Italian actions during the 1930's and 1940's for an unbalance and/or fundamental change to civilization as we know, our invasion of Iraq is it! Quoting the reluctant planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, "We have awakened a sleeping giant".

Therefore, I propose two different but connected courses. First: those of us who wish to buy or sell German (or for that matter, Japanese) goods follow their better consciences and communicate on a one-to-one, personal basis with each other. I do not speak German or Japanese but have always been willing to communicate.

Thinking about the larger problem at hand.....Second: join in with me in trying to apologize and beg for forgiveness for the "mistakes" made by our "uniter not divider" President and his cronies for unilaterally "taking down" a sovereign nation without the acknowledgement of the majority of our citizens and other governments. AND waking up the sleeping giant of about one billion people!

Forgive but never forget.

With Respect,

David Z. Fleisher

(220) Yitzchok Cohen, December 20, 2007 10:35 AM

agree - in principle

I am the grandchild of holocause survivors, and, as others have commented, I will not by "major" German products, primarily out of respect for those of my family who were lost/tortured by the Nazis. Yet, at the same time, I understand the viewpoint of those Jews who claim that this is no longer an issue...especially those from the Sephardic communities, who were, let's face it, largely unaffected by the Holocaust. So I'm not sure I would feel comfortable telling other Jews what to buy or not; it is, as you said, a matter of feeling and emotion.
My father feels very strongly against buying products from the Ford company, because it's well known that Henry Ford was a rabid anti-semite. That obviously doesn't mean that his descendants are as well, but this too is a matter of emotion.

(219) reut, December 20, 2007 10:05 AM

It's not the economic issue; I don't think that my not buying will really hurt the German economy. It's the disgust factor: Why would I WANT to own German made products? Why would I want to step foot on German soil that is flowing with Jewish blood?

(218) Michael Jarvis, December 20, 2007 9:42 AM

There is nothing wrong with buying German products

My family would never buy a German product until we made our first first to Israel over 30 years ago. During that trip I noted that many of the products especially cars were made in Germany. One of Israel's largest trading partners is Germany and has been for nearly fifty years. I think that before you take Germany off you buy list, Jews as well as other Americans should take a look at other countries, France amoung others. While we drive our SUVs and fill them with oil from countries where hate both Jews and Americans, I believe that our energies can be better and more productively used by working towards both Israel and American independence and let our enemies and Jew haters sell their oil to others. As a note America uses 25% of the worlds energy, energu independence should drive the price of oil down by about 50%.

(217) Anonymous, December 20, 2007 9:12 AM

Crime

Posting comments of hate is a "Hate Crime" in itself. We are critical of commentary against Jews, and seek apologies for those words, but are we able to justify doing the same? It is ok to feel frustration and anger for past actions of others, and we all do it, but to clearly state that we HATE someone and to be proud of it, is only promoting the continuation of hate. Dig deeper within yourselves and find peace instead of hate, and don't buy German if your feelings tell you not to.

(216) Anne, December 20, 2007 8:32 AM

I disagree......

I am also a child of a Holocaust survivor. I know the suffering and devastation continues long after the deaths of so many of our people, the atrocities and the concentrations camps. I know that we will never regain what we lost. I know that we are still healing and trying to rebuild. I understand how anything German, we would stayed away from. And make no mistake; I know we must be vigilant against our enemies. I know we must never forget what befell us.
Yet I have this to say because of my experiences.
It was during a course of study at the University of Paris, that I became friends with another student from Cologne, Germany, I realized that she was truly tortured by what her own people had done. I realized that here are a whole generation of children born in Germany after the Holocaust that are suffering, also. If we are really to be a light in this world as the Torah teaches. I believe that Hashem wants us to increase the good in the world. It means unless that particular company or person had involvement or ties with the Nazis or is an enemy of the Jewish people, we should try to build positive relationship for the future whether it be commerce or personal.
We should try to elevate suffering when we can. Anything that demonizes a human being no matter without due process is not justice for world.
Of course, if you can buy Israeli products or the products of people you know support Israeli and the Jewish people that for me would be the best choices. But let us take leave from the hatred by putting a great distance by how we act and by remembering that each life is precious especially the children wherever they happen to be born

(215) jJERRY BRODIE, December 20, 2007 8:10 AM

I BOYCOTT EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE FROM NAZISLAND.

I have never knowingly bought anything made in Nazisland, or in Nazisland Junior (Austria), and I never will, (b'lee nader).

I will never call these 2 countries anything but Nazisland and Nazisland Junior.

I will never call their language anything but Nazistalk.

I will not talk to any non-Jew whom I know to have been born in Nazisland, or in Nazisland Junior, including those who are born even this second, because JEW-HATRED is in their mothers' milk, and they can not help but be JEW-HATERS.

I had booked a cruise from Miami to Italy and southern France.

The cruise company was going to book us on Air Canada's partner, LuftNazisair to Frankfurt and from there to Barcelona, and from where we would fly back home to Toronto.

I refused to accept this, so they booked us on Air Canada to Milan and on Air Italia from Milan to Barcelona.

One month before the cruise, they notified me that our Air Italia flight had to be cancelled, and that we would be using Luftnazisair all the way home. They refused to provide any alternatives.

We cancelled the cruise and lost more than $4,000.00 because it was done for a non-meedical reason, and that was not covered by our insurance.

If I had a million dollars and had to lose it to avoid setting foot on Nazisland or Nazisland Junior, or on any of their planes, trains, buses, cars, boats or roller skates, I would do it.

I am prejudiced against anything and everything to do with Nazisland and Nazisland Junior because I HATE them all, and I am proud of t. If I live until the end of time, I will never change about this.

Jerry Brodi

(214) Raechel, December 20, 2007 7:31 AM

Rabbi,
My grandparents were Holocaust survivors and I too share your feelings. It is one of the ways I honor them and the memory of my family members who perished. How can I financially enrich a country that committed such evil, and to this day is still rampant with anti-semitism. I can not, with good conscience, buy German products. It is as if I were forgiving and forgetting what took place, and I choose to respect the memory of my family members and never forget.

(213) Horst, December 20, 2007 6:31 AM

buy German products?

It is fair for Rabbi Solomon and many others to feel that way. But consider this......If Rabbi Solomon or one of his family was, G-d forbid,to suffer a terminal desease and the only drug to save them was produced in Germany, what then? To save such a good man and any member of his family that drug would need to be used. I would hide it under an Australian made label

(212) Anonymous, December 20, 2007 6:25 AM

I'm With You on This

I totally understand your position and feel the same way myself. I don't have any relatives that lived through, or died during, the Holocaust, but my father was in the US army serving in Europe then. He never bought a German product for the rest of his life and I think that determined, or at least influenced, my decision to do the same. My family and friends don't understand this for the most part and I can't really explain it - it's more of a feeling, as you said. But feelings, and acting on them, are important.

(211) Judith G Dawson, December 20, 2007 5:10 AM

Yes, I have to agree with you, Rabbi.

I'm irrational about it - we have a Japanese car (made in America) but I will not buy German products or visit Germany. I guess I feel that what we did to Japanese-Americans was so horrible they have more than paid their price, whereas Germany became a 'good guy' almost immediately. Keep encouraging people to think about these issues, regardless of their decisions.

(210) Richard Seigel, December 20, 2007 5:05 AM

agree

I agree Rabbi Soloman.

(209) peter kraynik, December 20, 2007 3:50 AM

Forgive

We can forgive, Yom Kippur, but not forget! By forgiving, we are closer to Torah. Kindness is better than hatred. If G-D can forgive we can Too. Shalom

(208) Reg Saretsky, December 20, 2007 3:09 AM

The need to hate 'the other" ....

SarahRachelwrote:

7) SarahRachel 12/19/2007 5:50:00 PM
It's NOT Just the Past
I think that people who say "Germany of the past is not the Germany of today, nor are the German people of the past the same as they are today", must have their heads in the clouds. It is in their souls to hate Jews, just as it is in the souls of Ishmael and Esau to hate the Jews. It only goes underground for a while, but it ALWAYS (always!) re-emerges for another try at the complete genocide of the Jewish people. It is not gone, regardless even of the laws in Germany against denying the Holocaust.

Do people honestly think that the children and grandchildren of the Nazis did not grow up and do their teething on these teachings? Of course they did. The rare German will reject it in his soul - and that German is probably actually a lost Jew and not a German at all. ..."

OK, again, as half German, I hope to explain, without disparaging the real emotions ...

Wh Auden , "S

(207) Paul, December 20, 2007 2:08 AM

Bloody Hands

I'm a Christian, and a second generation American of Greek decent... and I'm also the former social studies teacher. Please know that of us have ancestors that have been victims of slavery and oppression. The Jews of History are no different that the Africans as victims of the past (and present) slave trade. What makes the events of the last 400 years so significant is the massive documentation, and the widespread knowledge of those events. Jews at the hands of Nazis', Blacks at the hands of whites, labor and the hands of management. Historically, blood is on the hands of theses oppressors. Should we as humans not try to help them wash the blood off their hands?

(206) Paul, December 20, 2007 1:35 AM

Honoring Ancestors

I used to be a social studies teacher in an urban school. Daily I was faced with situations where middle school children were hostile to each other feeding off emotions that were fed to them by parents and other adults... emotions rooted in contempt based on the opinion that "whites enslaved my ancestors, and they are still keeping us down today." I posed the question, "Does anyone here want to be held accountable for the wrong actions of their grandparents?" The room was dead silent. Over the year we saw a tremendous decrease in violence at our school.

Sir, The answer to making the world a better place to live lies in responding to others from a higher moral plane. Turning the other cheek so to speak. If you are choosing to not buy German products to honor your ancestors, I submit that you are essentially worshiping your ancestors, and you might be violating the 2nd commandment.

How can we live in peace with hostility in the air?

(205) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 10:03 PM

I agree.

(204) Julie, December 19, 2007 9:26 PM

foreign cars

Yes, if I were you, you must honor your parents memory and not buy German products. I can remember in K.C. where you could not park a Japanese car in a Union Hall parking lot , a sign saying it would be towed away. But here I am, at 64, thinking about buying a cute PT Cruiser. And then you spoke. I'm Bnei Noah and believe in the 13 principles of Maimonides. What would he do? What would Rashi do? Something to think about. Keep the good work up, Rabbi. I treasure everything you say. Julie

(203) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 7:56 PM

comment of Germany

I have not and will not ever visit Germany, or buy any German made products. It may be irrational, but as you said it is a "feeling" and it won't go away, thank you

(202) Shelly, December 19, 2007 7:43 PM

I am just curious, are Jewish communities making a comeback in Germany?
How many Jewish people are there?
When I was in Germany, I couldn't wait to get out, that is how uncomfortable I felt. I don't know how logical that is.

(201) tziporah, December 19, 2007 6:53 PM

will not buy German

Out of respect for both sets of grandparent (and my namesake)I make a conscious decision not to buy German. One set of grandparents, lost the bulk of their families to the Nazi's and the other set survived the war by the Grace of G-d, and fleeing to Russia.
Sorry, but the Shoah is still raw and the blood of 6 million is crying. Never
Again! Never Forget-must be our mantra.

(200) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 6:25 PM

Buying German

Just two points:

1) Refusing to buy German products will not bring back one single Jewish life.

2) Refusing to buy German products cannot punish those who were actively responsible for the Holocaust. They're all dead.

Rabbi, If your refusal to buy German gives you some sort of vindication then, by all means. I have no problem with those that feel as you do.

However, I have no problem with it.

(199) SarahRachel, December 19, 2007 5:50 PM

It's NOT Just the Past

I think that people who say "Germany of the past is not the Germany of today, nor are the German people of the past the same as they are today", must have their heads in the clouds. It is in their souls to hate Jews, just as it is in the souls of Ishmael and Esau to hate the Jews. It only goes underground for a while, but it ALWAYS (always!) re-emerges for another try at the complete genocide of the Jewish people. It is not gone, regardless even of the laws in Germany against denying the Holocaust.

Do people honestly think that the children and grandchildren of the Nazis did not grow up and do their teething on these teachings? Of course they did. The rare German will reject it in his soul - and that German is probably actually a lost Jew and not a German at all.

Until Moshiach comes and all of the Jews are gathered into Israel, the Third Temple is built, there is Universal Peace, and those who have chosen to become Righteous Gentiles have done so, and those who haven't are completely wiped out even on the levels of their souls, no Jew should ever think that the wish to exterminate the Jews as an entire people, will ever be far from the conscious awareness of Germans, nor of Arabs, nor of Esau for that matter. Don't fool yourselves.

I do not buy German products, knowingly. If I had a way to also not buy Arab oil products and any of Esau's products I would do that as well, in a heartbeat. I would prefer to only buy Jewish products if that were at all possible.

(198) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 5:45 PM

German products

I too will not buy a German product if there is any other possibility, and I will go out of my way to find a product not made in Germany

(197) marc, December 19, 2007 5:09 PM

germany

i would like to remind some of the pro-germany people- the torah says to wipe out amelek- and that doesn't mean they themselves- but every child, animal slave- everything that comes out of them. we see the torah does not care if one greatgrandchild of amalek would be good - not to kill. amelek is the "core enemy" of the jewish people-
i am not the one to bring this into the world- but many prominent rabbis of the world have proven that hitler and his crew - were amalek- GERMANY- and whether true or not- not important
when it comes to a true enemy of israel- there is no forgive-and-forget- sorry to burst the PRO_GERMAN_ BUBBLE
we are a peacful loving people- but not where the torah says not to be!

(196) mike lieberman, December 19, 2007 4:47 PM

I humbly disagree with you, Rabbi.

Rabbi,
I love watching your video blogs. I almost always agree with you. I remember reading that killing one life is like killing the whole world. Every nation at some point has attempted to kill the Jews. Should we not buy products from every nation then? Right now Germany supports Israel. Let's buy from them as they support us. Many American companies could very well have heads that hate Jews. Should we not buy from them? Every nation at some point has tried to kill us. Let's just not buy any foreign products then. Does that make sense? Many Jews are self loathing Jews? Many Jews in Israel don't like Torah Judaism. Should we not buy from them too? Something to think about.

(195) Rena, December 19, 2007 4:30 PM

Dear Rabbi Salomon,
I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Nazi's reign of terror, while it may historically be a thing of the past, emotionally it is all too recent. I am a 3rd generation "survivor" of the 3rd reich and I have not forgetten, nor will i ever forget, the affects of the inhumane, incomprehensible, merciless atrocities committed against us (and those other groups who were locked in our ring of hell.)These memories should not take 60, 70, 100 years too pass;just to be gone like the dust of yesteryear. If we let those years pass with the affects of our holocaust waning, then we will have forsaken our fathers, grandfathers, and forefathers. My heart doesn't cry out when i think of this gradual loss of connection, but it suffers an intense agony, devoid of all feeling, like the agony I feel when i see the piles of shoes in the holocaust museum. We must remember our fathers physical and spiritual survival from the nazi brutality, for if we forget, we have murdered their legacies!

(194) regina, December 19, 2007 3:29 PM

I agree and disagree

Dear Rabbi S.
In a lot of ways I agree with you that we cannot forgive and forget what they did to us, on the other hand, their products are better to none. You buy a German car, vaccuum cleaner, coffe maker, etc. their products last a long, long time, because they are proud of their workman ship. I also cannot really comment, because I also am a child of Holocaust survivors, who lived most my adult hood in Germany, growing up there, going to school there. I am not agreeing with the person who commented that Germany is not the same like before. They will always have a silent hatred for the Jews and what they represent, especially because of them are Catholic. It is true that most of Israel lives on "German" money, but that is money they are owed, because those are "Wiedergutmachung" payments.

(193) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 3:21 PM

german products

i was brought up like yourself and any german product was thrown out of the house.however many of my friends are now buying cars such as mercedes and audis.what do i do?

(192) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 3:06 PM

nuetral

i hear and can understand where your coming from. my grandparents families were all killed and wiped out by the germans. no i am not pro german products at all but if they make a better product i think i would buy it. a few years ago i made a comment of how i would never by a german anything and a person yelled at me and said " who are you to play G-d. why are you taking those animals punishment into your hands. let Hashem punish them. if you despise them so much why take away from their onishment to come. let them suffer the ultimate punishment."
after that i dont think i wuold go out and buy a german priduct but if thte situation wuold arise to not get a certain item bec its german i dont think i woukd turn it down.

(191) Yehoshua, December 19, 2007 2:42 PM

I started buying in ISRAEL

When I grew up in the states, I didn't want to learn driving in 10th grade because the cars were Volkeswagen. But, since moving to Israel where so much is German, I broke down and don't give it too much thought... or not enough thought! I like tropical fish. Here, just about and fish food or water conditioner is German.
That said, I don't justify myself. Of course ALL the European countries were disgusting and are saturated with centuries of Jew hatred, I know this. The head of the monster:Germany!? A person who boycotts them now is surely a sensitive, ethical being with much integrety and a very healthy Jewish heart.

(190) zevi, December 19, 2007 2:35 PM

While we cannot forget what the nazis did to the jewish people,we cannot say that i wont buy a german product.Nearly every country in the world including the United states has done evil to the jewish people.Are we not going to buy products from spain?What about the spanish inquisition?Do you have no heart?What happened to all those jews that died in spain?How can you support the spanish economy? Just because the holocaust was more recent doesnt make it different than the spanish iquisition.What about all the boats that were turned away by the US government during world war 2?How can jews accept anything or buy anything thats from the USA? Saying that you wont buy german products is a childish way of thinking.If you dont want to forgive then dont.You are not supporting nazis by buying german products.Its rare to have a product that is entirely from one country anyway.If you have a product that says made in germany this could mean it was only assembled there.It could have parts from china or any other country.It just so happens that either the distribution point is in germany.If you buy a product made in the USA,theres no guarantee the german economy doesnt benefit from it.By going out of your way not to buy german products,you are just going to make yourself crazy and you wont really be not buying german products anyway.Some products are engineered in germany which means you are benefitting germans as well.Even King shlomo bought and traded with the egyptians.Did he not know that egyptians killed alot of jews and had them in slavery for hundreds of years?

(189) JOEL, December 19, 2007 2:34 PM

German Products

Dear Rabbi,
I agree with you. I drive a BMW and have for a very long time. I was ready to get a new one but after the comments in your video, I know now that the weird feeling I always had everytime I parked on the grounds of Shirat Shalom, my temple in Hoffman Estate, IL, My car I new had some kind of significance even when I did not know who is or was a shareholder of BMW. I will not buy German. Period. Thanks.

(188) Jonn Izzik, December 19, 2007 1:52 PM

We are both right and wrong

Rabbi Yaakov. As 60 year old Jew in Portland, OR -- grew up in Belgium. Buying German is still 100% feelings. I have not been able to rationalize the Holocaust away because it happened 65 years ago and therefore it is now OK to buy German products. It would not make my wife and I feel good to drive in one of those slick well-designed Audis or BMWs.

Not to long ago we bought tickets for a raffle and one of the prizes was a (German) car. My wife and I decided right away, if we were to win, we would sell the vehicle immediatly. And -- I do not agree with this 'feeling' but, I remain stick with it.

I know also there is a growing Jewish community in Germany and many Germans made serious efforts to understand the misery their parents or grandparents caused onto the Jews and Judaism.

We are both right and wrong.
Shalom
Jonn

(187) cathy lyons, December 19, 2007 1:42 PM

I agree. I do not like to buy german products. If it is made in Germany I will not buy it. It is just a feeling inside of me that just is totally wrong. If I was there then, they would have killed me. When I hear German spoken, I cannot help but have an "instinctual" chilling reaction. It may be wrong to many people, but it is just such an intinctual reaction. Be well!

(186) GJP, December 19, 2007 1:16 PM

NEVER!

Anyone who thinks anti-Semitism is not ram pant in Germany has either never been there or has not been paying attention.I also have passed up trips that included a stop in Germany. Places with pious sounding names like Vienna are no different from Dachau or Belsen.

(185) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 12:47 PM

agree with you

I agree with you. I do not buy German products. I think of it as a way of always remembering the Shoah and honoring the memory of the millions who were murdered. It's one of my ways of making sure they will not be forgotten.

(184) chava, December 19, 2007 12:46 PM

what about Jewish-owned German companies?

Okay, I don't understand why Jews choose to live in Germany, but if they do, and if they have a company that makes a good product, what should I do?

(183) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 12:26 PM

The Germans would do it again given the chance

In my humble opinion, I do not beleive the Germans of today are truly remorseful for the sins of their parents and grand parents. Germany. much like Japan is only remorseful that they did not win WWII. Today we see how Germany, and the EU for that matter, would gladly sacrifice Israel for Arab oil. Clearly only a foolish, ignorant Jew would buy products from a nation that wanted all Jews exterminated.

(182) Hector Lee, December 19, 2007 11:28 AM

wholehartedly agree with you

Rab Solomon: I lost my childhood to the threat of a German invasion; a child with a submachine gun in my hands to make sure the man at the other end of the gun sight would die for his country: because if they caught me my brit would be reason enough for my being sent to a concentration camp.I became a soldier in order to survive;I can't ever forget that disgraceful situation, it still hurts deeply in my heart; I never was a child due to the war.

(181) Joey, December 19, 2007 10:45 AM

Don't forget the past, but acknowledge the present

While I can understand Rabbi Saloman and others' feelings on the subject, I cannot say I really agree. It is not as if Germany is really the same country as it was during the Holocaust, nor is anti-Semitism (as far as I know) a daily fact of life there. This is not to say that one should forget the evils of Nazism, merely that one should keep in mind that it is not a genetic condition that affects modern day Germans.

More generally, too, it seems to me that many Jews tend to be overly phobic about a lot of things from the past. Some, for example, seem absolutely sure that Vatican II was a charade, and that every Catholic is just secretly waiting for the chance to reinstate another pogrom. I'm not saying, again, that the evils of the past should be forgotten; just that Merckle is not Hitler, Benedict is not Ferdinand, and that these differences need to be recognized and rewarded.

God bless.

(180) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 10:41 AM

Buying German products

Dear RAbbi:
Not only do I not buy German products, but also I will not set foot in Germany. I have missed out on several trips because the itineraries included at least a brief stop at a German port.

(179) daniela, December 19, 2007 10:20 AM

Mercedes ?

Forgive my ignorance, but wasn't Benz of Mercedes Benz Jewish ?

(178) J.C. Hughes, December 19, 2007 10:12 AM

Are we reponsible for our fathers?

I am just a dumb hillbilly, and I can't imagine growing up know that my parents were murdered, by a group of people who hated them just for being Jewish; knowing also that they murdered my relatives, and friends of my family.
There is no excuse for those people who committed sure hideous crimes. No doubt I would have a hate for them, and I would have great difficulty not holding the next generations accountable.
I know that you study and teach from the Torah, didn't Ezekiel write in the 18th chapter verse 20 "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."
I know that Ezekiel was writing to the Jewish people of his time, and not to other nations. But shouldn't the principle apply to all?
I don't like to buy any thing from Germany, China, and most other countries. But it is because I like supporting our own countrymen.
If it bothers you to purchase any goods from Germany, don't; but don't hold this generation responsible for what their grandparents and parents may have done.

(177) Dirk A. van Mulligen, December 19, 2007 9:39 AM

An example from my father

My granddad lived in Indonesia during the second world war. He did not survive the Japanese concentration camp they put him in. My grandfather died there some two weeks before the end of the war. All of our families' possessions were gone.

My father himself was in the Netherlands at the time and had his hometown bombed by the Germans. Later he had to work in a factory for the German industry towards the end of the war.

Why this story? My father was a very special and spiritual man. Untill his death, I have never heard him say anything negative on either the Germans or the Japanese. Not that he bottled it up inside, but he honestly did not harbour any hatred or ill-feeling towards them. As to why he never bought a Japanese car, they were lousy back then!

I sincerely hope he can be a shining example for other people around the world. His name by the way was Rein, meaning 'pure' in dutch. I'm proud of the man and hope to one day achieve his level of forgiveness and pureness in life myself.

(176) Norman, December 19, 2007 9:24 AM

I have very convoluted emotions about modern day Germany. Certainly, I will never forgive or forget the Holocaust, but I also can not forget that Germany came to the miltary aid of Israel while the USA still debated the question. From what I understand, if not for German aid, Israel would most likely have lost the war when the Arab states attacked her. In addition, Germany has been forthright in compensation as well as in working hard to combat anti-semetisim in Germany.

When my wife and I planned our Euopean tour, we selected a tour that spent the least amount of time in Germany (the valleys were very beautiful, making us wonder how such ugly people came from there). Guess this was a statement of our feelings.

I raise the question of our attitude toward Japan, which started WW11 and committed terible atrocities against many Americans and captured societies.

Are we to consider only our own religion and suffering at the hands of the Nazis, while discounting the horrors that Japan, now our strong ally,perpetrated? Most items we now buy in America are made in China, a country that still lacks human dignity and freedom for all, contrary to Jewish beliefs.

Can we only hold Germany responsible, in spite of their recent good works, while ignoring Japan and China?

Either we accept modern Germay, or we must also reject Japan, China and other totalitarian states.

(175) shelley leibowicz, December 19, 2007 9:22 AM

When I was a teen shopping for my first used car I came home one night and told my dad what I saw.(My father was a survivor who lost his entire family)Being a thoughtless teen I mentioned a volkswagen I'd seen that day, and the look on his face was that of pain. I didn't quite understand, then he said in a quiet voice,'maidela, I can't buy you that one, it hurts too much to think of what happened to my family by the germans'.
It kind of shocked me because my dad didn't talk about the war much (he said little girls shouldn't know from such things)but that helped to begin to understand him more.
so to honour him more than anything, I would still never knowingly buy german.
thanks

(174) MIcheley Angelina, December 19, 2007 8:53 AM

Not buying German products is a silent and ineffectual protest and will not change public opinion or the trade of nations including Israel.

Using tools that noone notices to assuage our pain and anger is like using knives to untangle knotted shoelaces. We have a great deal of work to do that is the opposite of
isolation, boycotts and angry protests.
We need dialogue, groups healing racism together, education, an understanding of psychohistory and how
we need to make new history through the power of love and new scientific knowledge on the human brain, the roots of prejudice and how to heal from it.
It is a realm of science and love that has not been tried and awaits our acceptance to embrace it as the ultimate challenge to humanity.
There is also the intelligent use of the media and education we have not begun to tap.
The movie, "Paperclips" illustrates that innocent children with no Jewish agenda whatsoever can lead us on this way. I personally met the principal of Whitewell Jr. H.S., Linda Hooper along with four of her eighth graders at a children's conference in Chattanooga TN last month sponsored by The ChildSpiritInstitute. (Google them! THEY ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!)
One of the girls had never spoken in front of a group until she stood in front of the 250 participants, most were famous, all published authors, all making a difference in the lives of children throughout the world.
The last girl who spoke talked about meeting a woman whose parents made a hole in a box car big enough to push her out. They asked her to tell the world someday what had happened to her family. As she hit the ground a German soldier on top of the car shot at her. The bullet lodged in her shoulder bones in a position that prevented it from being removed. She carries it today as an old lady. There is NO bitterness or anger in her. She is grateful to be alive to tell her family's story. The young girl speaking says she will never stop telling people this story for it helped her overcome her fear to speak to groups of people.
"If a little girl could agree to let her parents throw her out of a box car,
I can stand up and speak to anyone about prejudice the rest of my life."
There is substantial evidence out there that the Nazi movement is very alive and well, not just in Germany but all over the world.
I honor you as a beloved rabbi. You are in a position to make a huge difference and I would like to share some resources that would give you insights on this.
Please connect with Lloyd DeMause, founder of The Journal (and The Institute) of Psychohistory, 140 Riverside Drive, NY NY 10024. Get a subscription and ask him for the articles, "The Killer Motherland", "The German Suicide" "The Childhood Origins of The Holocaust"- probably the most disgusting but true and powerful research to explain the "why's" that everyone asks, "Polish Antisemitism" for just a start.
I am honored and blessed by Hashem to be producing my own film "Scenes In A Mind" about a father and son whose family dies in the Holocaust, how they suffer and how they heal. Their changes are classic and happen when people take responsibility for hatred, grudges and unresolved conflicts. Many Jew and non Jews "walked" in our Warsaw Ghetto scene to the boxcars. I told them as a director, "Believe you are those first Jews and that you really will be taken to the camps and I want to see you praying every step of the way. The did what I asked without further direction in 10 degree weather in the middle of February '05. The Jews wrote or called me to tell me that they are practicing thier faith with great fervor, some for the first time since they were children. They are letting go of casual, worldly, materialism because of the roles they played in our film.
My film shows two men, a microcosm of post Holocaust Jews, who do their work on themselves and come back to their Jewish faith after they heal from the Holocaust pain that has been passed down from their family who gave their lives. CHristians who participated have made friends with and dialoge with the Jews they walked in the lines with.
The example of those sacrifices pushed us into compassionate actions and forgiveness. I will pray to Hashem that you can let go of your state of deep pain to be able to forgive and not hate modern Germans. I pray that your soul is finally healed so that the energy you put out for all those you lead is one of peace and forgiveness.
Anyone interested in finding out more about our film and helping us in any way please connect with me. The film is being made by amateurs and professionals volunteering their time on deferred payment BECAUSE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER AND THEIR DEEP SPIRITUAL BELIEF THAT IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The whole thing has been a journey in miracles. Please call me
at 860-701-1527 or email me at Micheley@hotmail.com

(173) Anonymous, December 19, 2007 7:52 AM

It's all about excellence

When I turned 18,in 1980, my first car was a BMW 320. For a girl my age it was the ultimate car. A German car. Why did I want that car? It had prestige, and excellence. The germans are known for making everything well made. Perfect. It was that excellence that allowed them to kill so many people in such an efficient way in such little time, without computers, modern transportation, modern arms, etc.
Why should we advertise that same excellency that killed us by showing off their products? To me it's a matter of pride.
That BMW was my first and last German car. Other German products, I buy when I have no choice. While I was living in Switzerland, it was hard not to buy German, many times, the only product available, but I never bought anything that shows off. Like a car or a designer clothing. Nothing that brings up status.

(172) Chanah Havah, December 19, 2007 7:19 AM

Please don't foget the human beings that saved our families

Gut Yuntif and Happy Belated Chanukkah.
Your topic is very thought provoking, and before I explain my thoughts and feeling, please know that I honor your beliefs and respect your reasons. Before the United States Air Force stationed me in German, for which my Mother yelled, "They're all Nazi's over there; tell the Air Force you can't go!!!" I thought all German's were Nazis. That is till I was stationed there. Please understand, I lost many of my family to death camps, and many others who wore the numbers stamped on their arms; a few with 2 stamps as they survied 2 camps. And now I'm going to this "terrible" place? I had such preconseptions. I know my spelling is poor, but please try to understand what I am attempting to say in my words. Not all Jews are born in Brooklyn, like my folks and not all Germans were Nazi's. I had worked with this elder gentleman, for whom I automatically assumed was a Nazi, because he was older, and although I tried not to show my distaste and lack of trust, being who I am, a female and having strong feelings, it showed. So one day Mr. Bott asked me why I was so angry? and I told him of my family - this older gentleman, and I do mean gentleman started to cry. You see, he was only 7 years old during the war, and didn't understand why his neighbors/friends were taken away. His parents were told that harboring theses Jews would cause death to them and their families. I started doing more research and found this to be true, and that there were other Germans, that did save Jews and helped with the underground, but were in constant fear of Death. Please - I don't want you to consider me a fool. I am a college graduate and really did take the time to learn about the Schindler's and (Irena Sendler of Poland), and believe every child should see the movie "Paper Clips", as there are so many others like them. I traveled and sought answers to many of my questions. What happened to the Feigenblatts and the Glasers and the Heymans? There are a few of my family that are angry that I fell in love with and married a man who is 1/2 German, 1/2 American, and it didn't matter that his lineage is Jewish, or that he was raised Catholic; he was German. I am Jewish through and through, but have come to know these important life lessons: People are people where ever you go. There is evil in all walks of life and I am so grateful now the the United States Air Force stationed me all over this United States and German. I wish you all much happiness, good health and prosperity and come to know that not all Jews are born in Brooklyn and not all Germans are Nazi's. G-d Bless,
Channah

(171) Linda, December 19, 2007 6:31 AM

I agree with Rabbi Salomon. I have an uncle who lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Emotionally, I do not like anything to do with Germany. I cannot stand the sound of their language. I would never knowingly buy a German car or appliance. I have guilt and question purchasing products made in countries that were friendly or helped Germany. Germany will not be hurt by my not buying their products. This is just a personal decision and feeling.

(170) Mensch59, December 19, 2007 5:31 AM

What about American companies that profited from the Nazis?

I can certainly understand your personal distaste for purchasing German made products. However there is another issue that is not addressed as often in the subject of boycotts...what about American companies, especially Ford, that directly profited from the Nazi regime during the war. Ford, unlike other American companies, was not nationalized by Germany during the war and Ford of America directly profited during the war. Parts from German trucks, tanks and airplanes were often interchangable with their American counterparts. Aren't they as deserving of our lack of support as Mercedes or Volkswagon? The blood of many lives is in their products as well.
I guess it's just a personal choice. We have owned Fords in my family.

(169) Mordechai, December 19, 2007 4:39 AM

Made in China

I grew up in UK but live in Eretz Yisrael now. My wife came from Argentina. Most of her family were murdered by the Nazis. Up until this year I would never have bought German products. However, over the past few years I've seen many products in stores with British, Italian or German company labels on them. They are the same product exactly, all made in China. They are British/Italian/German in name only! I ended up buying a Bosch screwdriver (Made in China) and a pair of Sennheiser headphones (Made in China) in the last few months. I still wouldn't buy anything that was "mamash" made in Germany.

(168) Ann, December 19, 2007 4:14 AM

I am Jewish, all of my four grandparents are holocaust survivors. When I was about to purchase my first car, a new BMW, I felt guilty- how could I? Then someone made a good point. If you boycott those you hated, tortured, and killed us- what about the things made in Spain (Spanish inquisition), what about all the nations around the world who at some point gassed us, hung us, and ultimately tried to break not only the body but also the spirit of the Jew- we would then, according to Jewish history, not be able to purchase anything made in France, Russia, Rome, Etc. Furthermore, would you not buy something from a store on Coney Island that is run by Arabs? Or purchase something here in Israel that originated from the Arab shuk? As you surely know, the list of the Jews' enemies is not a short one, the list of the groups of people who conspired to eliminate us as a nation and did everything they could to ensure that that happens.
After I heard that point, I decided to go ahead with my purchase- a custom made BMW straight from the factory in Germany. I still felt guilty and tried hiding it from my grandparents who suffered so much in the camps. However, can we really live in a world in which we limit our purchases to those who didn't kill us?

(167) Jeremy, December 19, 2007 3:49 AM

Remember the past but act in the present

This is hard. Modern Germans do not bear the guilt of their grandfathers but they do have the responsibility of their national history. By and large, they now acquit themselves well with their modern system of democracy, justice and human rights In fact the modern view of human rights and equality of peoples probably would not exist if their grandfathers had not taught the world the value of such things by taking them away. We should hate the evil that was done but we should discriminate carefully. For example I prefer not to deal with Siemens whose war time record was deplorable but the opposite is true for Leitz who make Leica cameras. For similar reasons, wherever possible, I avoid buying Chinese goods waiting for the day when Tibet will be free again. The Rabbi should consider talking to modern Germans and telling them how he feels and listen to how they respond. I anticipate some will be moved to tears and others will be defensive and in need of education. Either way he may feel closer to a true understanding of his own feelings.

(166) Karl, December 19, 2007 2:49 AM

Everyone has a right to their own opinion

First let me say I don't personally know of any relatives who died in the Holocaust. Certainly there must have been some, but I honestly don't know. Perhaps that is why I personally cannot agree with the Rabbi.

It was written that the children should not have to pay for the wrongs of their fathers. This is so true. Should modern day Americans be blamed for what happened to the Native American people? African Americans were once treated as bad if not worse than the Jews of Europe. They even claim to live in Ghettos. Should they nerver move on and just be mired in hate against the "white people"? As pointed out we have been persecuted by nearly every nation at one time or another. My father converted to marry my mother, as a result I don't have a "Jewish" surname. I grew up in several communities that hatred of the Jews was a common thing. The modern KKK wants to send the African Americans back to Africa, Asian Americans back to Asia, but feel Jews should just be exterminated.

I understand all of your pain and suffering but the vast majority of the people of Germany today are good decent people. So many reasons given,even by the Rabbi, indicate exactly why we SHOULD buy from Germany. Why is it that Isreal has Germany as their 2nd largest trading partner? Are Israelis more forgiving than we in America?

So much of the key technologies we enjoy today can be traced back to German scientists. Look at the Space Program and all the medical breakthroughs there have been as a result of our use of Werner Von Braun and others. Should we turn our back on those accomplishments because of the Germanic influence.

What happened was a terrible thing. Should we forget, NEVER. Should we punish decent people for something they personally had nothing to do with, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

(165) Reg Saretsky, December 19, 2007 1:44 AM

My ancestors are SwartzeeDeutsch. Although I am not Jewish, I find this topic fascinating. The Black Sea Germans suffered the tender mercies of Lenin; - we were the last to surrender to the Soviet Union. (The Crimea, 1921.)We also suffered ravages of Stalin, who declared us an 'incurable criminal people' in 1943.

At a Unitarian gathering where support of the Palestinian right of return was the 'petition of the day.' I pointed out that Israel was the sole modern example of a State founded without net displacement of people. The good Unitarians were unaware that the Arab states evicted over 785,000 Jews after 1949.


I feel that Jews are better off to support the enlightenment of the present, hard, as that is to bear. A German or Soviet boycott undermines the quest of today, which is the defense of Israel's right to a secure existence. If it helps, remember that there once was a Germany that over 12,000 German Jewish soldiers volunteered & died for, from 1914-18. Perhaps that culture has risen again.

(164) Batya, December 19, 2007 12:41 AM

Deep Inside

I was born in the US, but my family moved to Germany in 1962 because my father was in the US Army and that's where he was stationed. My mother tells me that our German neighbors welcomed her warmly and although they spoke no English and she no German, they would say things like "hitler...NO!" and "hitler not us!". But even knowing this, I still cannot buy German products. I cannot explain it, it is just something that I feel. There have been many times when I have desired to own something very much, but when I see it is made in Germany I recoil in horror. Here's the kicker: I have felt this way my entire life and I was not born Jewish. I converted because I needed to. I have always felt a connection from my soul to the Jews who came before me. I always felt Jewish. And it is more precious to me than anything other than H-shem Himself. And, Rabbi Salomon, I want to thank you for all the fine and wonderful things you do and for coming into my home once a week via video with your inspiring words. You have every right to not buy German, just as you would have every right TO buy German. It is your decision. And if it comes from your heart, it is the only decision you can make.
Shalom,
Batya

(163) John, December 19, 2007 12:22 AM

Fine for the individual, but not as a collective mandate.

Dear Rabbi Solomon,
Although i certainly respect your personal position on this subject, i feel your attempt to influence public (Jewish) opinion is incorrect. Where did the material originate to build Solomon's temple, where did the gold come from? On my Lufthansa flight two days after graduating from University i remember thinking "what in the world am i doing travelling to this evil country". But i can tell you that i experienced vastly more anti-semitism growing up as a child and student in Southern California, than living as an adult in Germany. I believe the words of the Prophet Ezekiel apply, that if a son does not walk in the way of his wicked father, he will not be held accountable for the sins of his father.

(162) Elsie Dudovitz, December 18, 2007 11:02 PM

excellent speech

I agree with Rabbi Salomon. Germany today is still very anti-semitic and we should not support their products. I for one do not buy anything from them and do not plan to do so in the future, not matter how many years pass since the Holocaust. I do not forget not do I forgive and the world has to remember that. I don't think that the German people today really "love the Jews" and wonder what they would do should someone suggest they persecute them again.........In fact, I do not ever want to travel in Germany either, even if it means that I will not see some of the important Jewish sights there. I don't want to give them my money. I know that Jewish tours do go there and I have given them my opinion about that.

(161) Robert, December 18, 2007 11:02 PM

I don't see the connection

Rabbi,

I agree with everything you say about the Nazis -- but I don't understand the connection between them and vacuum cleaners made in Germany.

If your money were going to support modern-day Nazis, I'd understand. If it were going to support an old-age home for Nazis, I'd understand. If the

Please explain!

Also: You note that Germany is Israel's second-largest trading partner. Do you think Israel should ban trade with Germany? Imports, exports, or both?

Thanks!

(160) moshe, December 18, 2007 10:56 PM

germany

i want to make something clear- alot of the comments made here are stating that its okay to buy from germany because they are not the same "natzis" and we should promote peace.....- let me ask you- would you want to live in germany?- would you like to pass by the areas in where they make the cars and whatever else they produce in germany! i'm sure you would feel disgusted!- germany looks like a nice little beautiful town today- but you would feel disgusting walking by, know ing that in that very place 6oooooo jews died- you cant just make peace and love everyone. im sorry to break it to most of you but if your son or daugter would be killed by a arab or whatever- would you be all comfotable in supporting arabs! i dont think so- not even the arabs kids- eventhough the arab kis have nothing to do with their father. enough said

(159) moshe, December 18, 2007 10:56 PM

germany

i hear 100% what you are saying
i understand the feeling
i cant say that i wouldn't buy a product that i saw made in germany
but i definitley agree with you- our families have all been affected by the autrocities of germany- some of us even immediate family

(158) David Isaacs, December 18, 2007 10:54 PM

Never forget but do not blame the younger generation.

We should trade with, coordinate with, interface with, and not forgive but reconcile. Germany has recognized their behaviour during the holocost, has paid reparations, outlawed Naziism, helped Israel, and I have met countless youg germans who are aware of what happend and are disturbed by their parents behavior and actions. There are still elder Germans who participated in the holocost, but we cannot continue to hate younger generations for the horror created by their elders.

(157) Reb. Doris Feinstein, December 18, 2007 10:50 PM

Buying German Products

I avoid buying German products as well.
I grew up understanding that most
of my family were slaughtered by the
Nazis yimachshimam. Although I have
met some lovely German ladies in my
teaching in preparing them for Orthodox
Judaism, they themselves have said they
more than understand why I have this
inability to purchase products from
Germany.

(156) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:45 PM

I am 62 yrs old and have never felt comfortable buying German products. It feels like we are letting bygones be bygones and just letting it go- but What happened in Germany cannot be let go.

(155) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:27 PM

head versus heart

I enjoyed your thoughtful comentary not so much for its content but what it tells me about you! You are, like me someone who follows their heart. But you like me are sometimes 'defeated' by a pragmatic world that follows the head. I can't recount now at my age the times I have had rightous indignation over this issue or that only to be undermined by a missing fact or for some other black and white issue. I think the fact that Germany is Israels second largest trading partner is a case in point with regard to your sweet editorial today. Having been to Israel 4 or 5 times I can tell you this is not the only example of the difference between Jews in America and Jews in Israel. This differnce in approach is a wake up call for me and a refreshing one I must confess since my tendency is as I described earlier in this message. In any case, I will continue to follow my heart -- which is not filled with dispair or hate for either the German or Japanese people of 2007 -- but is filled with rememberance of that terrible time.

(154) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:21 PM

German Egineering

On ehears much about the "advantage" of German engineering, specifically in relation to autos.
I can't help thinking about another exmaple of German engineering - Belzec, where my aunt and two of her daughters, along with my uncle's extended family, youngest was 6, were processed by German engineering - among over 500,000 Jewish men women and children. I can't help thinking of this (add Treblinka, Chelmno, Birkenau, and too many other factories of murder) other example of German engineering. So, no, I wouldn't become a VW, BMW or Mercedes owner.
I look at the prewar picture of my 4 cousins (2 survived by excaping the train to Belzec) and can't help thinking that they would all be here if not for German efficiency and engineering.

(153) Sheila Deutsch, December 18, 2007 9:55 PM

I agree 100%

I was shocked when I went into a shop in Tel Aviv (owned by a survivor) and found the entire stock was from Germany. I have been told that you would receive more in reparations if you took merchandise. I do not know if this is true but it might explain some of the buying. SD

(152) Shelly Simmons, December 18, 2007 9:55 PM

Part of my Grandpop Morris's legacy

After the War, my Grandpop Morris would not buy,use,drive in,or listen to anything German. Although it's 2007, I will never forgive them for killing my Uncle Barney on January 13,1945. Nine days before my Third Birthday. And slaughtering over 6,000,000 Jews.
I vowed to myself that I would never step foot on German soil. In May, 2008 I am returning to the roots of my my Ancestors. Kiev,Ukraine and Russia. My Grandpop told me that we were all from Anatefka! It is my trip of a lifetime.
My only regret is that my flight to Kiev has a 2 hour stopover in Frankfort. Something that I cannot change. I have asked several Rabbi's - What is the best way me me to cope with this? And not betray my vow. They suggested that I bring something to read that will have me feel closer to God. As this is very important to me, I would truly appreciate any feedback and/or ideas from you.
B'Shalom, Shelly Simmons Ashland, OR.

(151) Gladys Hanfling, December 18, 2007 9:32 PM

I, too, cannot forget and haven't yet brought myself to forgive.

My family lost two hundred members of our family to the Holocaust. I don't know where or when they died. I am lucky that my parents were wise enough to come to the U.S.A. in 1923, and that I was born in safety. My father died of a broken heart when he received a letter from his sister telling him of the tragic end of our loved ones.

(150) avraham rodkin, December 18, 2007 9:30 PM

a Jew on the other side

i think it is wrong to boycott German-made products or even a Ford automobile. whats passed is past. do not misconstrue this to mean forget about what happened. we should NEVER forget, however, people do change. also, for all we know, the product we bought that was made in Germany, may have been made by a fellow Jude.

(149) r klein, December 18, 2007 9:24 PM

don't buy german

Reading comments about forgive and forget... Forget my grandparent whom I never met? Forget my Grandmothers little sisters? I will not forgive.

(148) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 9:19 PM

Once a German product is bought unknowingly and it cant be returned, what should be done with it?

Just today, out of all the days on the calendar, my friend told me she bought expensive ice skates from a catalog and when she opened the box she discovered that the blade was made in the Rineland. She comes from a very emotional background in terms of what her family went through in the Sho'ah and she cant bare to keep them. It would be too expensive to ship them back, she'd rather give them to a non-Jewish person/organization. I feel differently. I think she should benefit another Jew who doesnt feel as strongly as she does about it. What do you think? What could I tell her to change her mind?

(147) Reuben, December 18, 2007 9:12 PM

Learn from the Past, but stay in the Present

I think its a very personal choice and I am taking no sides. Especially if you associate a personal tragedy to a nation or a community or even an individual its almost impossible to forgive. So I respect the opinions of those who dont buy german for a reason they have.

Nevetheless, though learning from the past is of utmost importance, one should always live in the present. Most of us live in the past, be it personal tragedies, or fights or grudges and spoil our present & future. Instead we should look at what our present dangers are.

In context of this article, we should be concerned, are we buying any products that belong to countries or regimes that are anti-jewish or anti-semitic or anti-zionist. I think thats important, living in the present, learning from the past and protecting our future.

(146) wm, December 18, 2007 9:10 PM

the germans today aren't nazis

(145) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 9:00 PM

I will NEVER buy german

Hi,
I met you, I belong to your brother's shul and you came for a Shabbaton. You were and still are great.
I'm not a big shopper, but I will never buy German. Even if it's a shirt or something I ADORE, as soon as I see it is german, I drop it and walk away.
I lost no one, somehow, from that European era. All my family was here. But I hate the sound of german, I hate everything about them, and I will never forgive or forget, because I am a Jew and they would have come for me, too, given the chance. Let G-d forgive them, it's not my job.
I live in the NY area. When are you coming back?
Be well, and thank you.

(144) gershon, December 18, 2007 8:39 PM

Not yet

I feel the same as the rabbi. I can not buy German products; I can not forget. One of most revered friends was born in Germany during the war. It is not his fault. My daughters do not know the intensity of my feelings. This is the way to leave it. We will be gone soon enough and the next generation can forget and forgive.

(143) Joshua Neace, December 18, 2007 8:38 PM

Although there is a lot of emotion when remembering Shoah, Is this the right approach to take Rabbi? Are you familiar with the righteous Gentiles of the time, who decided that saving the Jews was more important than their own lives. Such people would be Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a Lutheran minister hanged for treason,) Oscar Schindler (who saved Jews from the extermination camps,) and various others who felt the presence of HaShem to save His people. We must look at acts of loving kindness even in the roughest times.

(142) Itty S., December 18, 2007 8:34 PM

I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!!!!!!

I agree with your veiwpoints, COMPLETELY!!!!!! My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were killed by the Germans, imach she'mam!!!!!! I cannot stomach buying ANYTHING that is made in Germany, and, even though some of my friends laugh at me, I will, bli neder, NEVER buy any German products!!!! I feel that it is as though I am giving my hard earned money to my WORST enemies!!!!!

(141) Shoshana Zakon, December 18, 2007 8:25 PM

My behavior is inconsistent

Until recently I totally eschewed products from Germany. Lately, I have need of especially comfortable shoes. I started buying ARA shoes which are made in Germany. However, I wouldn't buy expensive items or large appliances from Germany. Now I'm perhaps more afraid of Arab involvement in American firms and investments like Arab bailouts of major banks.

(140) Leah, December 18, 2007 8:10 PM

I think it must be very hard for you to relate to German stuff in general since your parents suffered so much during the Holocaust. None of us would like to see or even know they are going through something unpleasant. But isn´t it time for you to heal that "scratch" in your soul? I mean, we are greater than any pain nazis, or anyone else tried to inflict upon us, and we are supposed to grow even higher as a result of the experiences that lie on our path.
And as to whether or not buy German products, I would say go for the best quality at the best price available.

(139) Joe Stepen, December 18, 2007 7:51 PM

Do you fill your car with gasoline? It's likely it comes from todays anti-semites. What's the difference.

(138) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 7:49 PM

Remember Amalek

Exodus 17:8-10 Amalek came and battled Israel in Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose people for us and go do battle with Amalek...Joshua did as Moses said to him, to do battle with Amalek...
Exodus 17:13 Joshua weakened Amalek and its people with the swords' blade.

It has been explained that Joshua had been commanded to kill all of Amalek for attacking the Jews. To kill all, including women, children, and the animals. This is because many of Amalek practiced magic, and were able to transform themselves into whatever they chose. Including children and animals (cattle, and other animals). Yet, "Joshua weakened Amalek and its people," meaning that he did not kill all of them as commanded to. This has also been brought down by Chazal.

Deuteronomy 25:17-18 Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way when you were leaving Egypt, that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear G-d.

Some of Amalek lived. Many still live today. To forget what they have done, is to invite them to attack again. It does not matter if they go by the same name, or another. Nor does it matter if it is actually Amalek. If an agressor/attacker acts like them, then we must never forget, and never let it happen again.

Moses commanded Joshua by the word of Hashem. This remains throughout the generations. Each generation must choose those from our own who can to defend us. If there is no one to choose, then those of us who can, must volunteer ourselves.

(137) Allene, December 18, 2007 7:45 PM

The people, not the country.

Germany is a country. There are many good people there. Infact I have Jewish/German relatives. The people that committed the crimes are the villians, not the country in which it happened. We should never forget what happened but we must forgive so that we can have peace.

(136) alberto, December 18, 2007 7:34 PM

its not the same

i respect your opinion but not all the germans were nazis and not all the nazis where german.

think about tha too...

and im not german. i am from mexico

(135) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 7:31 PM

Hashem is running the world

Dear Rabbi
Based on your logic should we not purchase any products from spain, egypt, england, Russia? We jews have been persecuted for years. vehih sheamada. The holocaust is a tragic event and the most tragic event of recent memory for the jews. It also happened for whatever reason thats what hashem wanted. Does this mean we should chas veshalem boycott hashem?

(134) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 7:27 PM

BMW's

A more focused boycott on companys like BMW that still owe reparations to the people they exploited in nazi prisoner camps might be more effective.

(133) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 7:12 PM

I WAS LIKE YOU..

Growing up in up state NY, I encountered anti semitism.. This slanted my view of the whole world.. Leaving home after high school and going off to school, allowed me to see that the whole world isn't anti semitic. That there is good and bad all around us.. After the millenium, I became interested in German cars. Today, I own 2 ... I do not think about the holocaust when I drive them... But I am aware they are first German, then a car.. We cannot forget, and we don't have to fully forgive, but also don't have to be stupid and buy for our hard earned dollar a lesser vehicle..

(132) rhoda goldstein, December 18, 2007 7:00 PM

beautiful article

I know where you are coming from and I feel as strongly as you do. What the Nazis did was not forgivable.
The othere side of the coin is that G-d forgives and we must find in our hearts not to condemn all future generations for the sins of the fathers.
I believe that Jews through all of the centuries have never commited suck atrocities.
What do you think?
My worst fear is that if we make Germany whole again financially that they not look to get rid of the Jews again. WE WILL SURVIVE.....

(131) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 6:43 PM

Tables Are Turned

It seems to me that using German products is actually a slap in the face of the Germans who could not destroy the Jews. Getting behind the wheel of one of their cars and driving it is a way to say, "look who's in control now!" While I have not and still cannot bring myself to buy any German products of any significance, I think we Jews make a statement by buying their products and using them in the face of the Germans attempts to annihilate us. Just some thoughts to ponder . . .

(130) brachyah, December 18, 2007 6:39 PM

Mercedes or Jaguar

The ramifications of the holocaust permeate to the core of my being. Descendents of the survivors should lead a life inspired by the profound lessons to be learned from this tragic episode. The choice to buy German products or not is superfluous and is maybe our way to calm our conscious from the heavy burden of leading true lives enthused by our parent's tremendous courage

(129) Harold Lovett, December 18, 2007 6:35 PM

Don't blame people who were born after the war.

A significant part of the German population is made up of people who were born after WW2. We should not blame them for what happened in the 1930s and 1940s. Do you feel the same way about France, Italy and other Axis countries who killed Jews?

(128) leonard ball, December 18, 2007 6:30 PM

i feel the same

i will never forgive the german people,i dont care what others think.its my way of fighting back,for people who could not.......we must never forget..........never

(127) Vladimir, December 18, 2007 6:30 PM

Don't buy any products from Europe

Never understood this kind of thinking. You look very smart. Do you really think only Germans killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust? Do you believe if Hitler was not born, Holocaust won't happened?
If you hate people who cause the death of our brothers and sisters, why Germans are any worst than Ukrainians or Hungarians. How about Polish and Lithuanians, or may be Estonians and Belorussians? Tell me about any nation in Europe who does not have Jewish blood on their hands (Bulgaria is exception and may be Spain this time). Who turned in Ann Frank-he was not German. Interestingly enough, German neighbors did not kill their Jewish neighbors themselves, Lithuanians did with their own hands. Polish were killing Jews even after the War ended...
I have nothing against your feelings, but be rational, please, don't make exceptions.

(126) Jim, December 18, 2007 6:10 PM

Let It Go

Apparently, the mere fact that some Germans still exist is unbearable to you. Doesn't this remind you of how too many muslims feel about Jews ?

Who are you really hurting when you won't buy goods made by the grandchildren of a people whose government was once evil? Do you buy Japanese products? If so, how is that really different?

(125) Puregoldj, December 18, 2007 5:59 PM

I don't think this boycott makes sense...

I don't go out of my way to buy German, but for several reasons, I don't think boycotting German goods makes sense:
* Germany has tried to atone for its former sins. Germany has admitted its past far better than most countries (especially Austria!), has been paying retribution, has assisted Soviet Jews, and has taken many steps to ensure that Naziism does not happen again. It is also a major trade partner and provider of investment to Israel, and has been much more supportive of Israel than most countries.
* Germans of today that I have met are on the whole not anti-semitic, and all indications are that there is less anti-semitism today in Germany than in many other countries.
* Many countries have pretty nasty records towards the Jews -- and have never done anything close to what Germany has to be honest with their history and to atone (Russia comes to mind!). In fact, Germany's record prior to the aberration of the nazis was not terribly bad; the Prussians were always quite decent to the Jews. Austria's record was far worse (in fact, most of the leading nazis were Austrians)
* Let's not blame the children for the sins of the parents/grandparents. Let's not drag on hostilities needlessly; especially since Germany is now a friendly country.
* I can think of MANY other countries that are much more worthy of being boycotted today!

(124) Gayle, December 18, 2007 5:45 PM

Rabbi Salomon

My Great grand father came here from Russia before World War 11 He was a brilliant man and invented many things right here in America, the only thing he was not learned on legally pattening his ideas therefore a crooked lawyer named Dressler sold my great grandfathers inventions to the Germans! The thermos box, the hose clamp, the bobbin and a few others! Also, Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb Abraham Selman did in his little cellar where Thomas Edison went to visit everytime he wanted a new idea he could capitalize on! Edison was an antisemite but used us for his capitol gain and had many Jewish people working under him and falsely called himself "friend" to Abraham Selman, my great grandfather! My Grandmother who is still alive at 102 years old remembers as a little girl watching Edison bumping his head on the cellar door everytime he came over and she laughs everytime she thinks about it!
While , I know how much the Holocaust hurts, but while I will never forget, The people as a whole didn't kill the people! There were many who helped us and I don't feel that we have to boycott Germany made products, if that was the case then I would boycott the thermos box, bobbin, hose clamps,etc and the light bulb!
By the way, my Great grandfather made the menorah in the synagogue in Rhode Island, you can see his name there! Abe Selman! His great grand daughter Gayle is very proud to have known him!

(123) TzippyR, December 18, 2007 5:36 PM

Why buy it?

Why buy things from Germany if we have other similar items that are not German.
Such as why would we buy a BMW, Volkswagen, or Mercedes when we can go out and buy a Chevy, Lexus,Mercury, Honda or Toyota?

(122) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 5:35 PM

I AGREE WITH YOU

I'VE LOST MY FATHER DURING THE WAR, AND MY MOTHER IS A SURVIVOR. SO EVENTHOUGH IT HAPPENED 60 YEARS AGO, I CAN NOT FORGIVE OR FORGET, OF ALL THE PAINS AND HARDSHIP MY MOTHER WENT THROUGH TO RAISE HER CHILDREN. JUST CAN'T BUY OR THINK OF BUYING ANYTHING GERMAN. ALSO CAN NOT UNDERSTAND WHY JEWISH PEOPLE GOES TOURISTING TO GERMANY OR AUSTRIA.

(121) Chaya, December 18, 2007 4:45 PM

To Anonymous (It doesn't make sense)

The situations you describe are not analagous to the holocaust. They are not a matter of one people trying to torture, humiliate and destroy another.

I think it is naive to think that the war ended and suddenly Germany realized they were wrong and began loving Jews. I don't think our boycott hurts or punishes Germans. It's a matter of self respect. As far as compassion, call me evil and inconsistent, but I have absolutely no compassion for Germany. I have compassion for the six million of us who died horrible deaths.

(120) C. Rosenthal, December 18, 2007 4:44 PM

Slave labor insured the survival of VW and others.

VW was the brain child of hitler and survives only because of the blood and tears of out brothers and sisters in forced labor. This is true of other German car and truck manufacturers as well. These vehicles were used in the war effort and in the nazis finale solution.
This is not punishment to those companies, rather a continued protest for those souls that were forced to oil the nazi war machine with their blood.

(119) Yossi, December 18, 2007 4:34 PM

German products

I think the more personally involved a person is with the holocaust, the more he won't be able to tolerate a German product.
It doesn't boil down to harming or punishing the german people. It has to do with a loathing of anything that reeks of Germany.

(118) Walter Leipurts, December 18, 2007 4:27 PM

Germany and German Products

I do empathise with Rabbi Salomon but I believe that Germany went through a learning period and I feel, possibly out of guilt, that they are offering Jews the hand of friendship. The world being how it is, I will take any friendly gesture these days.

(117) Brigitte Kerrutt, December 18, 2007 4:23 PM

Is your life ruled by hatred?

Suffering occurs all over the world even today. Those days and deeds shall not be forgotten, however, you make your life miserable when living with hatred. You hope that God will forgive you - how can He, when you cannot forgive?

(116) Elonna, December 18, 2007 4:10 PM

60+ year old grudge?

Hitler and the nazis were the most evil people on earth....but to hold it against Germans to this day? I can't agree with that grudge. I don't hold a grudge against the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor either.

(115) Stacey, December 18, 2007 4:06 PM

German Products

I absolutely refuse to use my hard earned money to buy german products of any kind...From Cars to toys to whatever. However, one of my husbands uncle's got us a german-made knives set as an engagement two yrs ago. I will most likely use them, since I didn't pay for them myself, and because I don't want to hurt the feelings of my husband's uncle. But, I imagine it will feel quite weird when we take them out of the box eventually.

(114) marc, December 18, 2007 3:41 PM

what does the torah teach us?

THere have been many times in our past where we have been persecuted. what does the torah say in regards to this situation? can we learn from prior experiences?

(113) Esther Sargrad, December 18, 2007 3:22 PM

Buy German products...NO

I agree with the Rabbi. We do not buy anything made in Germany. We even wanted a Chrysler until we saw it was part of Daimler.

(112) Jean, December 18, 2007 3:17 PM

Buy german

95% of my family was destroyed by the HUMAN RACE.How can I ever buy german goods....Sometimes my brooker tells me
how good german bonds are, but I wont buy them.The same for german stocks etc etc....Point is, I may forgive tell me how I can forget.
Take care.

(111) Sydney Parlow, December 18, 2007 3:14 PM

You are right on! Agree totally and unequivocally

I am of the generation that lived at the time and served in WWII. I can't forget, I do not want to forget, I do not want to forgive. Only those who died or were tortured and incarcerated can forgive.....

(110) Deborah Bach, December 18, 2007 2:51 PM

tshuva

I also didn't buy German until I made Aliyah. My grandparents and other relatives were slaughtered by the Germans and Poles... but don't we believe in tshuva, in the power of people to change. Sure, not all Germans have gone thru the steps of tshuva, but many have. The German governments official policy is to recognize the evil that perpetrated and to do what can me done to fight anti-Semitism. What really changed my thinking a lot was working at a place in Israel where German young people came to fulfill their requirement of national service to their government. This was a place where emotionally and intellectually challenged adults lived and the German volunteers did things like shower people who had dirtied themselves and were not capable of caring for themselves, etc. I had great respect for most of those young Germans and I hope they represent the majority of Germans today. As a therapist myself, I have worked with people who needed to learn to act more from their intellect than from their emotions and I have no doubt that you, Rabbi Salomon, also don't accept the idea that our feelings must guide our behavior. Sometimes we have to have our feelings change as a result of changing our own thinking or behavior. Think about it!

(109) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 2:50 PM

Never Forget!

Lo Tishkach! We must never forget what Amalek did in previous or current generations.

However, the Jewish community in Germany is regrowing. Not buying German products may be hurting a Jewish business.We need rabbinical guidance on this issue.

(108) Chana, December 18, 2007 2:49 PM

Not to buy, not to fly

We try our best not to buy German products, nor for that matter to fly their airlines. I'd rather pay more to fly another stopover.

Tani- I have heard that the reason is that Germany sells its products to Israel at better rates... that's why this country is full of their products.

(107) Jacob Snarolf, December 18, 2007 2:43 PM

feelings NOT intellect

I do understand where Rabbi Salomon is coming from and the feelings that permeate all of us who are sensitive to what transpired during the years of the holocaust. However, not buying German products with the intent of not promoting and assisting the German economy is in no way defeating Hitler and the Germans and what they wanted to accomplish. Hitler himself did NOT even want jews to buy their products and to benefit from them in any way nor could he have cared less if they did. He wanted destroy the Jewish people without leaving any trace of their religion. He wanted to perserve a few artifacts as a relic to show the world, 'Look at this religion that once was and is no longer here.' But for us to defeat Hitler is to keep Torah and Mitzvos e.g. KEEP SHABBOS; show and demonstrate to the world that we will endure and never be lost. Because not keeping the Torah makes us most vulnerable to being lost, assimilated and defeated.
I am not disagreeing with Rav Salamon but this to me is a much more important message to all our enemies more than just not purchasing a German product out of personal feelings.

(106) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 2:43 PM

I can't buy German products

I had to be in Germany briefly a few years ago and the anti-semites seems to be proliferating once again. I cannot support them in any way.

(105) Annette, December 18, 2007 2:39 PM

what a great opportunity for Israelis!

I never understood why Israelis don't get into building their own vehicle industry, or appliances, etc.,... !
I disagree with writers 2 & 3, especially 3; assimilation was a huge problem then and always has been, and it doesn't mean we should try to be like others; it simply means they should STOP trying to make us or anyone like them, whoever 'them' are AND it also means we should just be OURSELVES, IT IS GREAT TO BE JEWS. Period. But it's never been 'their' way.
As for the children of 'reform' jews, surely you know the stats! they have almost no jewish descendants! Zip. Total assimilation within a few generations.
The fact that germans too got bombed does not justify anything. It means the others defendend themselves by attacking back at the target enemy.
My dad is Czec & from the shoa, 88 years old; he still fights with G-d; says many jews attended shul 'back then' so why the shoa? why did so many 'good' jews have to die, like his mother? because even Kohen Gadolim were rote in their jewishness, remember? they had to go into the Holy of Holies with a rope tied around them ... because they DID die there, and no one dared go in to drag them out. Or they would drop dead too.
At any level, we can be sincere or insincere. We chose.
I have a German last name.
I chose to avoid German products. Sincerely.
And now, also Chinese.

(104) Kip Gonzales, December 18, 2007 2:36 PM

Boycott them if their values are evil

I am a Goy who lives in Germany. I´ve lived here for 28 years. In those years I have yet to see "official" German anti-semitism. Sure, there are the Neo-Nazis and other right-wing nut jobs, and the media here is not always friendly to Israel, but it´s a lot better than in other European countries! The vast majority of Germans I know are very open and friendly towards Jews. I think Germany is a lot more friendly to them than France or England. Would you boycott other European goods for that reason? German television documentaries about the horrors of the Holocaust are the best I´ve seen. I was at a Christian march in Berlin in 2004, and there were hundreds of Israel flags being carried. The people spontaniously formed a huge human star of David in front of the Rathaus (City Hall). An Israeli reporter in a plane overhead filmed it, and it was on the news that night.
There are kind German families who invite mourning and traumatized Israelis to come to their homes for a nice vacation. I believe that today´s Germans are not to be blamed for what happened 70 years ago, but they ALL have a responsibility to learn about the past. I give them an "A" for effort.

(103) AnneRuthCohn, December 18, 2007 2:31 PM

Agree totally with RabbiYa'akov's sentiments.

I realise that this anti-German sentiment is not based on logic. It is quite true that many component parts of other products are indeed made in Germany. However in our lives we are often guided by sentiment rather than logic. The "gut-feeling" is something we all conduct our behaviour by. My Parents and their families other than mine were destroyed in the NAZI madness.The Torah is basically our guide...we are commanded NOT TO FORGET Amolek because they had the audacity to try and fight Hashem's nation. Jewish History is literally dotted by enemies of Jews and enemies of Gd's chosen people. Logic is NOT everything. Why is NEO-Nazidom flourishing again all over the world. I would not buy something that displays the banner " I was made in Germany " and this is because of my feelings ALONE. I read the logic behind those who take the view..... "high time to forget".But a nation who brings up such a MAJORITY of vile,cruel and "obedient" people ( cf Mercedes, IG. Faben,) cannot be forgotten about. Mordechai and Esther asked for the cruel, merciless behaviour to be remembered each yearTWICE and also the Female part of the Kehillah.....Do we have sufficient precedence to be told what to do. I think the feeling not to buy German is emotional one yet it is definitely justified.

(102) Jay Grossman, December 18, 2007 2:31 PM

Do you buy Italian or Greek products?

The Greek empire persecuted the Jews and the Romans destroyed the Bais HaMikdosh. Do we refuse to buy Greek or Italian because of it? At some point, the link between those who engaged in the atrocities and the present day is broken.

(101) Dorrin Rosenfeld, December 18, 2007 2:04 PM

Why do we need top punish the kids for their parent's actions?

Buying something made in Germany does not mean that Nazi's made it. If the German's make a superior product, why shouldn't I buy it? It is a different generation and a different population. The world can never heal itself if we hold each person responsible for something his/her country did in the past. If we stopped buying products from everyone who ever cruelly hurt the Jews, we would not be buying very many products from overseas. And since we no longer make anything here, we'd be excluded from ALL commerce...

(100) Deborah, December 18, 2007 1:50 PM

I understand

I understand this perspective for many reasons. I feel proud when I buy from Israel and the US. I am supporting those countries. I feel that purchasing products from a specific country could lead to dependence on that country. Much like oil in the Middle East. Why be dependent on a country that has been known for such atrocities?

I do not blame those not involved. However, we must be choosy when it comes to who we support: emotionally, financially, politically.

Thank you for bringing this topic up. I've only thought of buying Israeli products to support Israel, haven't thought of the negative aspects.

(99) EDWIN ARONSON, December 18, 2007 1:49 PM

YES, I WOULD BUY GERMAN PRODUCTS TODAY, 2007.

THE PEOPLE IN POWER BACK THEN ARE GONE...IT IS A DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT TODAY ND IT SEEMS LIKE GERMANY IS DOING QUITE A BIT TO ATONE.

(98) RichardWald, December 18, 2007 1:41 PM

Boycott German products

What the Germanns did during the Shoah (Holocaust) was so beyond human behavior that to buy German products is almost blasphemous. The blood of our brothers and sisters cry out for revenge. Never to forget -Never to forgive is what we must live by.

(97) Clarence May, December 18, 2007 1:36 PM

Emotions and Germany

I understand and fully respect Rabbi Solomons' views about buying German products - if you feel bad about buying German - go ahead and buy something else, which will probably be less expensive, especially if manufactured in Asia or in America. But do realize you are doing this to fulfill your own emotional needs - you are not "punishing" any single German but a group of people, some of whose families might have been involved in the Holocaust, and many others not. As a member of the local Jewish Community and having lived in Germany for three quarters of my adult life, I realize this country is as heterogeneous as can possibly be - the emotion correlated with the concept "Germany" among Holocaust survivors, emigrees and their children (as myself) and day to day reality are very different. Should you "punish" non-involved parties only to satisfy your emotional needs ?

(96) Martha, December 18, 2007 1:30 PM

Buy German

I am not a Jew. I am a Spiritualist and am studying Judaism. It is like I am on a first date with Ha Torah. I very much look forward to your blogs and columns. I admit I never thought about boycotting Germany but you made me think about it. So many people don't stick firm to their convictions regarding such things as horrible as the halocaust. I admire you for your stance and applaud you in your honesty. I now, will read lables and put forth an effort to boycot myself. Shalom, Martha Cole

(95) Berber Braat-Natkiel, December 18, 2007 1:28 PM

we owe it to our family to boycot any german goods

Nearly my whole family from my father and my mothers side got murderded by the 'moffen' ie germans. We owe it to our family not to give any form of financial support, as far as we know to Germany. Not to forget many other countries who played a dirty role in extermination our people!

(94) dovid, December 18, 2007 1:23 PM

How far do we go?

It has been documented that IBM supplied equipment to Nazi Germany. IBM knew full well that some of the equipment was used in concentration camps. GM fully owned Opel, a German automobile maker that manufactured trucks and auto parts used by the Nazi war machine. Switzerland allowed shipments of war materials to Germany through its territory. Swiss banks extended massive bank credits to the Nazi regime and German businesses thereby prolonging the war. Furthermore, the Swiss turned back to Germany up to 30,000 Jews who tried to cross the border in order to escape sure death. What shall we do Rabbi Salomon? Not to buy German, but to buy Swiss watches, IBM computers, and GM cars? I used to worked for a GM subsidiary. Should I have resigned as soon as I found out about their contribution to the Nazi war machine? I have been struggling with this issue for a long while.

(93) Felix, December 18, 2007 1:20 PM

It's really difficult to see Germany in a different way but they're different now.

I could never judge any holocaust survivor for having negative feelings about Germany. I myself -no member of my family was vitimized by the nazis, though my ancestors were persecuted by Spanish Catholics- become defensive when I see a German or even hear their language. However, present-day Germany resembles nazi Germany in no way, and still,they carry the curse of their grandparents like Cain did after killing his brother: everywhere they go people still associate them to mass murderers.

(92) Nathan, December 18, 2007 1:16 PM

I agree

I too can't bring myself to purchase products from Germany. My parents were both survivors and while members of my family have not problem with these purchases, I can't bring myself to making such a purchase. My children are always asking me why I won't purchase a Mercedes, and yes, I know that Israel is rife with Mercedes, and other German products, but no matter, having seen the pain inflicted by the Germans, it would be unconscionable of me to do so.

(91) Roberta Seltzer, December 18, 2007 12:49 PM

I would never buy a German product.

I agree with you Rabbi Salomon. When I was a little girl, Volkswagon beetles just came out. Many Jews were buying them. My father, of blessed memory, thought that this was a horrible thing to do. Rabbi Israel Miller, also of blessed memory spoke from the pulpit about not buying German products. Now, I can well understand their feelings about this and I have the same
feelings too. Thank you for this wonderful article. It confirms my beliefs.

Roberta Seltzer

(90) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 12:46 PM

Other Countries Were No Better Than Germany

There was a time where I would not think of buying a german product. However, I asked a well known rabbi, who was a survivor and who lost some of his immediate family in the holocaust, this question. He said do you mean to tell me that the other countries of the world during WW II would not have done the same thing as germany given the chance ? Do they like the jews any better than the germans did ? He is 100% right. Very few countries wanted to help the jews. Others like many Poles, Lithuanians,
Ukranians and Russian Communists, murdered the jews together or at the same time the germans did. We hear about the antisemitisim around the world today !

(89) Elimelech, December 18, 2007 12:34 PM

Buyer Beware!

If you really feel the need for comfort and engineering(not of the eugenic variety), buy a Lexus instead of a Mercedes -- you'll sleep better at night. Shalom.

(88) SLG, December 18, 2007 12:22 PM

Mixed Feelings: Germany & Poland

As a child of a holocaust survivor who lost all his family in Poland I grew up hating the Germans until my Father told me the following: He had been in a camp with a torn jacket in the middle of winter. A gruff old German guard asked him if he thought it was summer and told him to go inside and put on a "new" coat. As my father slipped one arm into the sleeve he pulled out a piece of bread and the other arm, a piece of salami. The German just looked at him and grunted at my Father as he left the building.

However, he was totally unforgiving towards his Polish neighbors who collaborated and helped kill or round up Jews. To this day, I cannot accept that we Jews put money into the economy of Poland through The March of the Living. The point has been made that Germans are keenly aware of their past, however few Poles mention their part. Death camps have been turned into theme parks. My Father told me of public hangings and executions that were attended by his Polish neighbors as a form of entertainment. Now we travel to Poland to entertain the Poles again?

Finally and ironically, I drive a German car for work and wouldn't have until my first trip to Israel years ago and my late Father's words.

(87) sara malka rose, December 18, 2007 12:05 PM

I do not buy German products, nor Polish, nor Spanish, nor French, etc. if I can avoid it. The list of countries that hate the Jews is unfortunately quite long, & I laugh at myself sometimes when I realize how I've boxed myself into a rather tight buying corner, but I feel quite right with my stance for myself. I must tell you that I am quite shocked & dismayed by the huge amount of German products in Israel. I went into a store in a mall here,looking to purchase a knapsack. Easily 3/4 of all the products were from Germany. "Don't you carry Israeli brands??" I asked. There was one small row of Israeli brands. I bought one. Shameful that it is so difficult for our people to purchase products made by Jews!

(86) redbeard, December 18, 2007 11:37 AM

If you forgive you will forget

I too am a child of Holocaust survivors. Growing up in a home such as my parents established was unique. There were both positive and negative experiences that I was exposed to as a result of my parents being Holocaust survivors. Although the Nazis were the ruling party during World War II - let us not forget that they were DEMOCRATICALLY elected to office. The GERMAN people are who supported them and DID NOT oppose their policies. The offspring of those supporters were raised by those very people who put the Nazis into power. Yes time has gone by but who says the ideology of these people has changed?! There are a few amongst the Germans who I am sure are humane- does that make up for the majority? I was effected by my parents' experiences as I am sure the offspring of the Germans were also effected by their parents' experiences. I say DO NOT buy German products. Their economy does not deserve Jewish support.
This issue with Israel having German products- is because the Germans subsidizes the cost of their products when selling them to Israel. They are not doing that to be NICE to Jews. They are doing so in order to help themselves feel less guilty about the atrocities they committed against us Jews.

(85) Len, December 18, 2007 11:32 AM

The future will repeat the past.

I am barely old enough to remember WWII. I do not know of any family members lost in the Holocaust but as my family emigrated from eastern Europe early in the 20th century I am sure there must have been some. I agree with your thoughts about not buying German and cannot understand how the next two generations have "forgiven and forgotten."
There are more Mercedes, Audis and BMWs on the streets of my Jewish neighborhood than any other foreign origin, I guess we are doomed to revisit past indignities sometime in the future because we have done so so many times before.

(84) Rivky, December 18, 2007 11:18 AM

A couple of thoughts...

1. You see the word German and you flinch. Hevel havdalim, they saw the word Jew and they flinched.

2. Do you buy Japanese products? What about the slaughter of half a million Chinese in the Nanjing massacre?

Do you buy American products? What about the American atrocities in the Philippine-American war?

Speaking of America, what about America's involvement in the concentration camps? Their bombers went over the concentration camps on a regular basis, they knew what was happening. They could have bombed the railroads leading into the camps, saving countless Jewish lives. They did nothing.

I could go on...but I think you get the gist.

3. I agree with you, we NEVER forget, the Holocaust or any other unimaginable cruelty. Especially the Holocaust, because it's mass genocide on such a systematically different scale.

But never forgive? That's anti-Torah. Yosef forgave his brothers; we must forgive the grandchildren of Nazis.

(83) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 11:17 AM

Buying German is wrong.

My father survived the war by going through Japan and China. I grew up highly aware that the Germans killed most of my father's immediate family. I am very conscious not to support a country that unleashed such a murderous rampage against our people.When I see products that are German made - and usually made well -it reminds me of how well made their murder machinery was as well. I think 'forgive and forget' is a ridiculous concept relating to the Germans. This is not an issue of forgiving. This is an issue of not supporting a country whose people allowed a holocaust of this magnitude to happen. I always wonder - what is in the minds of the German people today - are they shocked and horrified about the actions of their parents and grandparents - or not.

(82) Leslie Otis, December 18, 2007 11:11 AM

enough

You should not be promoting your own personal choice as some standard for all Jews.Haven't you noticed that we have new enemies to be concerned about?I grew up boycotting anything German,but if Germany is now Israel's 2nd biggest trading partner,where is the moral justification for your stand?You are presenting your personal platforms as a standard for everyone.

(81) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:58 AM

I agree

I will not knowingly buy anything German. That is all I will say.

(80) Helen, December 18, 2007 10:58 AM

Barefoot

If the Germans were the only poeple manufacturing shoes - I would go barefoot.

(79) Jerald, December 18, 2007 10:40 AM

To Forgive Or To Not Forgive That Is The Question ?

To forget & forgive ? The burden rests upon the individual. Present & past . How to come to terms with them ? Having loved ones die in the Holocaust can leave an indelible emotional scar that may never heal. But what is the alternative ? Holding the German people hostage may also make one a prisoner of oneself. . Are they all responsible for their peoples crimes against humanity or just a segment? Most of the perpetrators are gone . Their government has asked for forgiveness .
Though the heartache will always remain perhaps for the greater good creating a bridge over troubled waters will help with the healing process . To forgive is Divine .

(78) Sheindel Heisler, December 18, 2007 10:37 AM

The reason for so much assimilation

If we think that we can have German friends and let bygones be bygones, then of course we can expect our children to marry non-Jews. Only when we know who we are and where we came from, will we understand where we are going. We are Jews, we pray to the G-d of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, and we can only "go" where where we can live a life of Torah and Mitzvot because this is what HaShem commanded.

(77) Dvirah, December 18, 2007 10:35 AM

A Victory...But Only If You Feel It

I certainly don't go out of my way to buy German products, but each time I do purchase a product made in Germany, or one of my friends does, I see it as a victory over the Nazis: we survived to use their things (much like Bene Israel leaving Egypt loaded with Egyptian plunder). However, I can well understand not wanting anything German in one's home (ie, near one) when it carries such a reminder. I would say that there should not be a formal boycott, but no one should be coerced into buying German. And no, we should never forget.

(76) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:30 AM

buy or not to buy

Im complete agree with you. only one difference, dont forget but do forgive
Forgiveness is a privilage of the high soul and Hashem should told us to forgive.
I think its better to encrease jude products and buy them for not to require to buy other kind of thinks, no mather the handcraft
thanks.

(75) Woodah, December 18, 2007 10:30 AM

Emotion, but not Reason

I sympathize with Rabbi Salomon's emotional reaction to German products. He's free to make whatever decisions he wants as an informed consumer.

However, I don't agree that we should boycott German products. He mentions that today corporations are trans-national. This is true. Is Daimler-Chrysler a German company? Where are its cars manufactured? Who would be hurt by a downturn in sales? Neo-nazis? David Irving?

Also, companies like Mercedes-Benz paid reparations to Israel. My uncle was in the Bataan death-march, and I don't think Mitsubishi ever paid out anything to those survivors. Reparations will of course never come close to compensating us for the destruction of European Jewry. But my point is that, as corporate entities, the companies that supplied the Nazis with war material have taken unparalleled responsibility for their crimes. Would that OPEC would do the same.

Finally, it was the economic hardships imposed by the Treaty of Versailles that led to radicalization of German politics by the Nazi party. Clearly the Rabbi's ad hoc boycott will not have a similar impact, yet as a theoretical matter I want to point out that economic prosperity is good for everyone -- Jew and Gentile alike.

(74) David S. Levine, December 18, 2007 10:24 AM

Today's Germany

In the 1950s, after meeting with Konrad Adenauer (a meeting which had its planning long before) David Ben Gurion said it all when he stated that the Germany of today is not the Germany of yesterday. If anything that is more true today. "Give it up" and "Stop it now" are not really operative terms because just as we want to see Israel as a nation in Herzl's words, "Like any other," the same standard has to be applied to Germany. Further, a little postwar history is in order. Much has been written of the reparations payments made by the German government and the morality of accepting them--but they were accepted. When reparations to Israel were debated in the Knesset Menachim Begun spoke against accepting them in the most forceful terms, but when he became Prime Minister he never gave them back and continued to upgrade relations with the German government. In sum, many nations mistreated our people, but of all nation that did so only Germany attempted to make amends. Many will say German amends were made to get back into civilization's good graces, but the fact that Germany's democratic governments thought enough of them to make amends says much about Germany and its democracy.

Personally, I purchase the goods I do based on their efficiency and performance. My Braun shaver seems to work well and has lasted a long time. However, so do my American autos which were made to last a long time due to competition with, among other nations, Germany. And yes, when one goes to Israel one can't help but notice the German autos on the road and when one studies the Israeli economy one is struck by the fact that Zim Line ships are mostly constructed in German ship yards.

Finally, and this in not rationalization, one must never forget what happened during those horrendous twelve years of National Socialism (and its imitators in other nations) but THIS generation of Germans need no longer suffer the moral leprosy of its parents'.

(73) Julius Romanoff, December 18, 2007 10:11 AM

Buying German Products

I do not buy German products, based on my anger towards the Nazi regime. I enlisted in the United States Army Air Force on 10/12/42 with 30 fellow Seniors at Broolyn College. We were placed in the Army Reserves until we graduated in 1/43, and then called to Active Duty 2/43. I am the only one that survived the war. My friends all perished in the war supposed to end all wars. Thus, it is a personal feeling that prevents me from buying products made in Germany. Cognitively I do not hate the German people of today. I blame all of us, who enabled Hitler to become Chancellor of Germany. The Jewish War Veterans started a boycott of German products in the 1930's, and it depressed the German economy greatly. In all likelihood, if it was supported by Jewish leaders, Hitler would not have been elected Chancellor, and the Nazi party would not have succeeded to start World War II. Although my behavior is not really rational or according to the Jewish view, but it enables me to feel that I am doing something - remembering those who died. I see the same stupidity by the Israeli leaders in believing that peace can be made with the Arabs, who insist they will destroy Israel. I was willing to keep quiet until I read Eric Fenster's article at #65. Hashem's benevolence can not be an excuse to sit and do nothing while we are threatened with destruction of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. It is just history repeating itself, since we have not learned that we need to act to save ourselves. The miracles of the Israeli victories in the wars with Arab nations I believe demonstrate that Hashem helps, when we help ourselves.

(72) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 10:09 AM

Proof of change required!

Some have stated that Israel and Germany are good trading partners. Does trading amount to friendship? I doubt it. If so, then what would one consider the relationship between the U.S. and China to be? One of trust or hostility? I have met a lot of people of German origin who till today consider a Jew to be a pariah. It is a pity that a large number of Jews of today seem pitifully ignorant of the attitude that people hold towards them. They fall for the superficial benevolence.

(71) Abe, December 18, 2007 10:09 AM

Know your real enemy!

Rabbi,

Almost all of thoae Germans who were called a Nazi are now dead, good riddance. The Germans you hate today were not involved in the horrible brutality during World War II. Our enemy today are the terrorists. They are the scum that wishes hurt today, not the Germans. I don't understand your reasoning.

(70) Tani, December 18, 2007 10:01 AM

Why does Israel buy so many German products?

I used to completely agree with your point of view...until I lived in Israel and saw that the country is full of German made cars (Mercedes is the car of choice for taxi's) as well as all kinds of German appliances.

(69) Charles Black, December 18, 2007 10:01 AM

Despite then Holocaust, It IS OK to buy German Products today.

Moses wandered through the wilderness for 40 years. Not because he was lost, but because God knew there were members of his group who would not qualify to live in the Promised Land...Among those who would never arrive at journey's end included Moses himself...How sad. Yes, there were Germans of that generation of the terrible times in Europe who were guilty of the most despicable crimes against mankind...How horrible these deeds were and have been so vividly & well documented on film and in books and records. There can be no contesting the facts no matter how many kooks may try.

In terms of time passed, that of some sixty years, this is more than the forty that Moses spent wandering in the wilderness while a generation of "sinners" died-off. Despite a few misinformed and maladjusted groups of young Germans alive and taking up space in Germany today, there are more German citizens would prefer to forget the terrible sins of their grandfathers and move on to a bright new age of reason and education and acceptance of a respectable and responsible place in present history. They too have found it difficult to imagine how such barbarity could have been practiced on their native soil in neighboring countries. They want no part of this insanity that was forced upon them socially and psychologically and as many were led top believe, economically. The journey through the wilderness of Germany's terrible past is over. No one wants to go back to that terrible time when even they felt the cold chill of the threat of Nazism's power. Many need to understand living in Hitler times was living under a two edged sword. And no one wants to live that way ever again. They have learned to appreciate too much to give it up to another maniac like Hitler. This is now the second generation of Germany, the grand children, and in some cases the great grandchildren of Germans who shared collective guilt of sixty and more years ago. My father-in-law was a German Jew and he often described himself as a patriotic German Jew. But it was love of country, not the Nazi system he loved. He recalled the times of the Kaiser, when Jews served the country and were honored by their service and awarded military medals for this. He loved Germany he remembered until he died at the age of 83 in 1991. Before he passed-on , he went back to Germany, not once, but many times, and always came home smiling and happy with his visit. The new Germany, cleansed of the bad old days was a good experience for him. When I talked with him about German technology and German goods, he always spoke glowingly about this. He drove a Mercedes for over 40 years, used German cameras, German cutlery, drank German schnapps, beer and loved German "wurst" and schnitzel, listened to his German Blauplunkt radio. All these things were German and he used and enjoyed them, even though his entire family line was wiped-out in the holocaust after he fled the country with his wife and younger brother in 1938 with a final destination of Manila, the Philippines Go figure! I knew others like him as well.
I am guessing that, like the large numbers of Hebrews who accompanied Moses in his journey, it may required another generation of German Jews such as the good Rabbi Salomon to pass on until the new generation of Jews can accept not only their German ancestry, but the purchase of German manufactured goods. Life is too short to let the evils of past history guide one's enjoyment of life. The world is not going to go away, so there's no need to turn your back on it. The vines of Germany's vineyards bear no sour grapes for anyone.

(68) Ben Tzion, December 18, 2007 10:00 AM

Bought once - never again

I've avoided buying German products my entire life. I owned 2 Chrysler products but stopped looking at anything Chrysler after Daimler took over (it was only later that I learned that many of the residents of the village of Tyczyn, in Poland, worked as slave laborers at the Daimler factory nearby before being taken to Belzec concentration camp).
Once, however, I bought a beautiful Braun hand mixer at a heimishe appliance store. The wire shorted out after 2 uses. I took this as a sign, threw it into the garage and bought a Black & Decker. Never again.

(67) Marvin, December 18, 2007 9:53 AM

Like it or not, trade today is International. My parents (both) families were wiped out during WW2 but in truth, historically, The Alies of WW1 were very responsible for the plight of Germany during the Weimarar Republic because it allowed a crazy man to take over the country by promising economic recovery and before WW2 did nothing to stop his horrible activities. As an aside, should we as Americans, in addition to being Jews, not buy products from Japan? There are many things we may not like but to live in this world much of what we dont like, has to be tolerated.

(66) sarfatti, December 18, 2007 9:51 AM

Future prospects are the answer

Learn from the past so that youknow how to behave in the future....
Consider communism and present Russia antisemitism is allover...what shall you do...consider so many schools all over the world where children are taught that jews are evil. Do some more positive action for the future of our children and grand children.
No point on crying on your own ego!!!!

(65) Pat Friedberg, December 18, 2007 9:50 AM

Germany

I was a child in London during the second world war - bombed every night, lived and schooled in a shelter... enough of that.. many years ago I met a German woman, my age, mother of an exchange student... she was bombed every night too .. we spoke, we realised it wasn't us who carried out the bombing, it wasn't her that made the Nazis do what they did. And then my daughter wanted to marry - the only Rabbi I could find to marry her to a non Jewish boy was German. He came to my house, sat in my living room and said. "Where were you during the Second World War. I told him. He said, "I was in Belsen," then went on to say if we can bring one more Jew into this world then we have carried out a mitzvah, your daughter is Jewish, her children will be Jews. Later, as a journalist, I went to Germany..to the camps, to the cities, spoke to the people, as did Leah Rabin ... and I thought to myself if we carry on this hatred we are as bad as they were - we must stop it, we must not forget it but we have to STOP IT NOW. I have German friends, I don't blame them, but one thing I do know is that if we continue with this ideology we can only cause ourselves more indignity. Marcus Aurelius said, 'the best form of retribution is not to become like your enemies..." I try to live by that maxim.

(64) Ari, December 18, 2007 9:48 AM

Germany is not a third reich

I am a Jew and I have been living in Germany since 15 years. This is my Country, I like and love it. Germany has nothing to do with 3 reich.

(63) Sammy, December 18, 2007 9:47 AM

I am currently living with my family in Germany as my husband is on an international assignment. It is a smug comment to say don't buy German. We need to look deep into the countries in which we all live (or once lived) and realise the anti-semtism that is all around the world before constantly denigrating one nation. Unfortunately the only anti-semitic comments I have come up against during my time here have been from Americans who are not aware of my Jewishness. However, we should never forget what has happened or the fact that Jews can never become too comfortable in their "safeness".

(62) Nathan, December 18, 2007 9:28 AM

abdicating the obligation to think

We would have to hide in a cave, and never do business with any non-Jews if we were to forever boycott those who oppress(ed) us. Germany, Ford Motors, IBM... Buying gasoline supports the Arabs, so driving a big or powerful car or having a big oil-heated house would be "assur".
I used to have a Leica camera. I felt conflicted, because I had read that it was the camera of choice for the Luftwaffe in WWII. But it was the best camera make & I was into photography. A couple of years ago I heard about the "Leica Freedom Train." The non-Jewish owners of Leica had realized what was happening in Germany. They hired dozens of Jews and gave them overseas postings, in order to get them to safety.
It is too easy to lump everyone together, to blame everyone. It's a good way to avoid thinking. Rabbi Salomon has given no Torah insight to this subject, just his own prejudices.

(61) paul fisher, December 18, 2007 9:27 AM

agree with views

We have learned little from the Holocaust....few criminals were actually punished; forgiveness and forgetting has become the modern mantra;state-run murders condoned,ignored by the world...so tell me what we learned from the Shoah......

(60) Klara, December 18, 2007 9:22 AM

I'll never buy german products, never go to Germany

I survived Auschwitz and a workcamp in the Sudeten,where we worked for AEG the german electric company, that produced parts for war machinery for the nazis.
I command the good rabbi who remembers her parents suffering under the nazis. I heard all the pro's and con's and I don't blame todays germans for their parents horrible deeds. The truth is that most germans approved hitlers deeds just look at the newsreels showing how they adored him when he spoke his filth against the jews.

(59) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 9:20 AM

It doesn't make sense

The people that committed the Holocaust atrocity, at least the great majority of them, are dead. It makes no sense to continue punishing these people for what their grandparents did. Should I be punished because my grandfather hated blacks? I didn't even know my grandfather. Should people in Boston not buy products from people in Atlanta because at one time the Southern states made war with the North? It's ridiculous! The Germans make great products and they aren't even complaining that you're boycotting them. Have some compassion and it will come back to you. Withhold it and it will be withheld from you.

(58) Daniel Stusser, December 18, 2007 9:05 AM

Yes - but not from France or Pakistan

Germany has made atonement for its former leaders sins, and continues to do so.

It's countries like France and Pakistan (you can name others) where anti-Jewish attitudes flourish, protected.

My 17-year-old daughter is in Germany now, studying the language and life there, courtesy of the US government, which awarded her "Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange" scholarship.

She reports back to us that she is treated with respect, that if the subject of her Jewishness comes up her peers are curious, and that she feels safe.

It is extremely difficult for me to imagine that in 60 or 70 years my children's grandchildren might travel as visitors or exchange students to such places as Iran or Iraq, Jordan or Saudia Arabia, or even Ukraine or Moldova and feel the same sense of welcomeness.

So while I'll buy products made in Germany, I avoid those from other countries that today are making life difficult or impossible for Jews.

(57) Nuts!, December 18, 2007 9:04 AM

To buy a German vehicle-- Nuts!!

Straighten the curves of a BMW's hood ornament and you've got a Swastika. Take a look at the doors on the Crematorium and they say Foundry's of Wiesbaden (sp?). Hitler cruising in his favorite Model T -- A VW Bug built by Jewish slaves whose mass grave was exhumed just a few years ago when they broke ground to expand their evergrowing VW plant.(Guess we like their Passots!!) Do you think American Motors Corp. or Studebaker might still be around had they had a free workforce for 5-10 years? How about Hudson, Packard or a few others? Think they'd still be around if they only paid their hard labor with one boiled potato a week (yea- the United Auto Workers Union would like that!!). Ford might have hated Jews but as far as I know there is no Mass Grave in Detroit.
Don't kid yourself; the world economy today still bows to the successes which are associated with Dr. Porsche and 3rd Reich buddy's. Jews in German cars? Just fill the air bags with Zyklon B and enter them in a demolition derby. Every Jew in America and Israel should be driving a free American vehicle given to them and paid for by Ferdinand's kid's trust fund!! NUTS!!!

(56) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 9:02 AM

I don't want to buy German products

My parents and I were born in Canada. As I grew up my father told us a lot of stories about the anti-semitism that he was faced with. He didn't even want me to be friends with a German boy when I was about 12. So I grew up not wanting to buy German products. As it happened, I married someone whose parents were survivors and I think the stories that they told reinforced my decision. Surprisingly, my husband at one point was very anxious to buy a Mercedes and it was my pressure that prevented him from doing so. However I must say that I have sometimes unknowingly bought Braun small appliances and I didn't return them because they seemed to be the best of the offerings.
Even though I expressed these feelings while they grew up, my children don't feel any hesitation. Perhaps a little has rubbed off because my son, who was going to buy a BMW, has decided to purchase VOLVO.
But were the Swiss any better to Jews during the war? And for that matter didn't Canada and the US reject 1000's of Jews (who probably later perished) from coming to our countries when they were trying to escape Europe? So many countries who could have helped didn't. Doesn't that make them guilty to a certain extent also? As Anonymous #3 stated "many Germans would turn against us.." but can't that be said for a scary proportion of the population of many countries. So maybe we shouldn't be buying products from those countries either.
My husband is very pro-Israel and yet as he said "We're all a little hypocritical when it comes to our purchases." The only thing that we can do is to be vigilant to what's going on today and call for and publicise boycott's e.g. by internet, if necessary. After all being said, I still don't like buying German products.

(55) Michael, December 18, 2007 9:01 AM

Universal Guilt

Roosevelt failed to bomb the camps and turned away from our shores a ship carrying desperate Jewish immigrants. The Catholic church did little to stop Hitler plans. The world turned its back on us There is enough universal guilt. The present German government is very supportive to Israel. It doesn't make any more sense to punish the present German government then it does not to buy American. Never the less, I don't buy German

(54) Gary Nathanson, December 18, 2007 8:46 AM

We remember all

Rabbi Yaakov Salomon's stance on not buying german products is one I whole heartedly agree with. Similarly, I choose not to buy a ford product due entirely to henry ford's anti-semitic posture that was applauded by hitler. Keep in mind that a white ford pickup truck is the national vehicle of choice for the ku klux klan.
Are some words in my comments supposed to have their first letter capitalized? According to English standards the answer is yes. But, that applies to proper nouns. Simply, I do not consider those words to be proper.
If we are to remember and recite a simple instruction given to us well over 2,000 years ago that we repeat throughout the year why then shouldn't we remember something that was a societal effort to completely remove us from existence in very recent history. The words we are to repeat and remember? "I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
If we choose to forget either, then, can we truly refer to our self as a Jew? To choose to forget is to choose to have selective perception and recall. That then becomes a delusional excuse and not a reason. An excuse of transitory convenience? What other excuses are to be made in the name of expediency?
As a Jew we have much that we are called upon to learn and to remember to guide us that are part of defining our self as a Jew. It's not a matter of picking and choosing. This I like. That I don't?
Being a Jew carries with it many duties, obligations, responsibilities. Some inherited. Some imposed.
The Torah teaches us much of our self. Some good. Some not so good. And, some downright bad. Each part is important to internalize, to learn from, to use to guide our conduct and values. Are we to leave out the bad parts because they are uncomfortable. Do we choose to forget? Isn't that denial?
Rabbi Yaakov Salomon's stance is simply, correct.

(53) Betty, December 18, 2007 8:43 AM

In Canada, we try to be diverse. What about our German Friends?

In Canada, we try to be diverse. What about our German Friends?
Part of me is very cautious when I tell my new Jewish friends and acquaintances my maiden name "Leben". However, I'm very proud of my heritage. I am very quick to say "yes, it's a German name...but my parents are NOT from Germany...we just happen to have a German name. So obviously, I have an underlying feeling that even being affiliated with Germany gives me an uneasy feeling. I have German friends...Is that wrong? I have German-Jewish Friends...is that wrong? Don't forget that not all Germans are Nazi's. You are right that we must never forget what happened during Nazi Germany times in WWII. However, the unfortunate Jewish victims did not die in vain. They can be compared to the Jews that died during their slavery in Egypt and the Jews that died during the 40 years in the desert. If it wasn't for their sacrifices and the events in history, we would not have the Torah. The Jews that perished in Germany were the catalysts that gave us Israel.
Just my two-cents to think about.

(52) Chaya, December 18, 2007 8:42 AM

Right on.

What gets me, though, is the Germans probably don't even notice it when we don't buy their products. Still, as a matter of self respect, even if they don't notice, it's important that we don't buy German. FYI: Bayer aspirin is manufactured by the folks who brought us Zyklon B.

(51) Dieter Rapp Junior, December 18, 2007 8:41 AM

I agree with you.

Dont buy "German" products

(50) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 8:38 AM

My father-in-law says yes, I say no

My father-in-law is a survivor and tells the most horrific stories, but he also tells us that his life was saved by ordinary Germans. For that reason, he does a lot of business with German companies and even represents German products, acting as an agent. In contrast, my parents were quite safe in South Africa and so was I. Yet I cannot bring myself to buy German products. Like poster Michael Harbater, I also can't get past the fact that the Germans put all their scientific ingenuity to use to exterminate us. I also really worry about the upsurge in anti-Semitism in Europe and have a gut feeling that many Germans would turn against us again, given half the chance.

(49) Joshua, December 18, 2007 8:33 AM

Survivors

I am a post-war child born to a British father of Polish and Ukrainian decent and a Bulgarian mother. On my father's side we lost over 100 members of our family. My mother lived under a regime allied to Germany during the war and was deported from her home (under Bulgarian laws against the Jews). The present day Germany's economy is partly built from the seizure of assets once owned by Jews, as were other European economies. (In even more recent times we can point to Arabs , who seized assets from their Jewish countrymen.)

After the war, Germany with its terrible legacy has to live up to what it had done. Most Nazis of that era are very old today or are gone; many many with blood on their hands. But today's generation of Germans are not en mass, a horde of venemous people that should feel our scorn. As a people they have a duty to teach their children about what their ancestors had done and to teach them to relate to this world in a way that will not allow this terrible period to be repeated in Germany or anywhere. It is also a duty for every Jew to do the same.

No. Refusing to buy German or visit Germany , or to be friends with a German because of what happened, is not an answer and will not bring our families back to us. We carry with us a terrible scar and we try to rationalise almost in an inverse way. What we really resent today were those in politics who allowed Hitler to rise and those who supported his economy to allow him to do what he did. Whilst history sadly does repeat itself, it is unlikely today to be happening in Gemany. Sadly Judeophobia, like a virus, has mutated and we must be alive to the new threat.

(48) Debbie Lipkin, December 18, 2007 8:30 AM

Kol Hakavod

I couldn't agree with you more!!!! Finally, my thoughts are put into your words. My parents too were holocaust survivors, and, never can I forgive or forget!!!!!!!!! Thank you for this article. I hope millions of people see this. Kol Hakavod!!!!!!!!

(47) Jack Delmonte, December 18, 2007 8:29 AM

Jews in Germany

My family lost over 30 members to the Holocaust and even so I still live and work in Germany. I find that MOST Germans are passionately anti-Nazi even when they don't know that I am a Jew or even an American. By not buying German products you may be hurting our own people, namely the 300,000 Jews currently living in Germany including many Israelis who moved here. Our numbers here are only 190,000 short of the pre-war years and growing rapidly.

(46) Peter Klauber, December 18, 2007 8:26 AM

Emotions supercede logic

I too am a child of survivors and have avoided buying German products for purely emotional reasons. Even on business trips to Germany I feel uncomfortable. In fact, hearing the German language by elderly individuals still provokes the questions of what were they doing during the Holocaust and to what extent were they complicit in the atrocoties comitted. While I appreciate the arguments that one cannot hold today's Germany accountable for the transgressions of their parents the legacy of anti-semitism is very prevalent today. Given the revitalized antisemitism, combined with anti-Israeli senitiment perhaps one ought to consider extending one's "purchasing boycott" to other European nations that are anti-Jewish in their governments and citizenry.

(45) Gary Nathanson, December 18, 2007 8:22 AM

Rabbi Yaakov Salomon's stance is correct.

Rabbi Yaakov Salomon's stance on not buying german products is one I whole heartedly agree with. Similarly, I choose not to buy a ford product due entirely to henry ford's anti-semitic posture that was applauded by hitler. Keep in mind that a white ford pickup truck is the national vehicle of choice for the ku klux klan.
Are some words in my comments supposed to have their first letter capitalized? According to English standards the answer is yes. But, that applies to proper nouns. Simply, I do not consider those words to be proper.

(44) Rina, December 18, 2007 8:19 AM

Not forgetting has nothing to do with not buying German products

I live in Germany, doing kiruv work with the many Russian-Jewish immigrants. My grandmother, who lost her entire family in the Holocaust, supported our move. The only way to repair history is to return and recoup our losses. I don't see what buying German products has to do with it.

I understand that there is the emotional aspect, and I appreciate that Rabbi Solomon does not claim to be right on this point - instead he implies that there are a range of acceptable opinions on this issue.

This is not a logical issue - it's an emotional one.

(43) Paul, December 18, 2007 8:17 AM

Buying German products- NEVER

I was so glad to see your video. As a 50 year old Brooklyn born Jew now living in NJ with my family. I had nobody murdered the holcaust. However, I would NEVER put 1 penny into the German economy knowing what they did to my people. Never. Sadly, among my peers I am in the minority. They use all the arguemnets that you brought up and gladly buy their German products. I was thrilled to hear there are others like me and I have taught my 3 kids the same philosophy. Best Regards Paul

(42) Jerry Weissman, December 18, 2007 8:09 AM

I was born before the war in the Western U.S. I have the same feelings buying German products. There are reptedly a few companies that were righteous during the war and perhaps I should buy their products, but the proof is just not enough to ease the discomfort. My children and grandchildren perhaps will be able to live without the memories of the reports of relatives that were extinguished.

(41) david carmel, December 18, 2007 7:58 AM

i share your attitude

i draw a distinction between countries whose national policy may be anti-jewish or anti-israel in economic matters, and those whose national policy was the destruction of the jews. i may disagree with positions taken for economic reasons but those positions do not kill you. if there is no better alternative i will buy british, french and japanese products with clear mind, but i would never knowingly purchase anything german, or set foot in germany. my parents survived concentration camps and did not necessarily share my views and actually believed not all germans were bad or that you should collectively punish an entire country. ironically, i took a harsher position than did they who survived the horrors of german ingenuity.

(40) Michael Harbater, December 18, 2007 7:57 AM

German? Not for me

I recognize all the rationales for buying German products and find, ironically, the when in Israel it's German made or do without, but here in the USA I will NOT knowingly purchase a German product. I can never forgive or forget that amongst all the pogroms, persecution and "tzar" we have been subjected to over the centuries, it took the "Oh so efficient, methodical, systematic" German's to almost perfect the killing machine that gave us a new word in our lexicon - Shoah. Sure they had accomplices, sure other acts of horror have been perpetrated on us but there's the German "Churban Europe" and then there's everything else.

(39) Anonymous, December 18, 2007 7:48 AM

Not consistant with reality

I am the child of two survivors. I no longer cringe when I am in a taxi in eretz yisroel. We have been persecuted in every country on the planet and have suffered from antisemitism in America as well.

Perhaps we should wait for the entire generation of survivors to pass on and for the entire generation of WW II Nazis to pass as well. However, in reality the Nazis of WW II are gone and the planet is infected by a new generation of neo-nazis. The circle of hatred will always continue but it is no longer centered in Germany and we either avoid all goyim or continue to live with them.

I am a musmach, physician, father and grandfather.

(38) Blake Breslin, December 18, 2007 7:48 AM

Against embargo for fear of consequences

Let's say for arguments sake that Jews everywhere refused to buy German products, and made that fact known to the German people. It would probably have little effect on the German economy, but it would certainly affect the way modern Germans viewed modern Jews.Just as the harsh reparations imposed on Germany after WWI resulted in a backlash of hostile feelings that diectly lead to WWII, so too would a publicized Jewish embargo of German products create a backlash that would slow the healing process between Jews and Germans, and would likely give Skinheads and their like new reasons and opportunities to spread anti-semistism.

(37) Alfredo Sadler, December 18, 2007 7:42 AM

I do not buy German products.

Born in Germany, succeeded emigrating in 1934, now retired businessman-Chemist. I think I owe it to our murdered family members and to our murdered people not to buy German products or support Germany in any way. I can neither forgive nor forget. If they could, they would start over again, today !!!

(36) Lawton Cooper, December 17, 2007 5:18 PM

It's a personal, not a Halachik matter

I fully respect the feelings of the speaker and of others who refuse to buy German products. I was taught the same by my father, of blessed memory.

But when I look at the regimes in power around the world and the level of Antisemitism in various countries today, I feel much more comfortable buying German than Chinese (tough to avoid), Malaysia, or even France. As far the responsibility for the Shoah, if one boycotts Germany, how about Austria and the various countries in Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania) whose masses were only to happy to help out the Nazis, Yimach Shemam v'Zichram (may their names be blotted out).

Further consider that German society on the whole has faced up to its collective guilt, in start contrast to the French and others. The laws prohibiting Nazi expressions and Holocaust denial are much stricter in Germany than in Britain. The Germans also seem to be dealing with their internal Islamo-fascist threat more forcefully than Britain or France, which may partly explain the dramatic growth of Germany's Jewish population over the past few years.

I am personally quite uncomfortable with the idea of visiting Germany (or Austria, which I equate with Germany), but from a distance, given today's realities, am more comfortable giving my business to them than to several other countries. Of course, my l'chatchila (preferred) option is to buy Israeli and American!

(35) Kelly Woo, December 17, 2007 4:36 PM

Good Question....

Many modern Germans were born after the holocaust happened. Is it right to punish children for the deeds of their parents? Unfortunately, there are anti-semites everywhere. How can we know that the product we have just purchased benefits only those who are friends of the jewish people?

(34) tammy, December 17, 2007 1:50 PM

A tiger doesn't change his stripes

Its a 'bushah V'cherpah' how Israel supports the german economy. But what can I say, Israel is being run by fools. I however, choose not to buy anything german. As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I owe it to their memory not to support anything german

(33) dovi, December 17, 2007 1:16 PM

nothing but a feeling

I do not think buying German products are wrong and its definitely not a problem in Jewish law which states that one is allowed to do business with the son of a murderer. at the end of the day it comes down to a feeling and nothing more. yet at the same time people that don't buy German products display a sense of ignorance for should we stop buying Spanish wine because of the Inquisition and what about going skating a Rockefeller center in Manhattan? and what about Tommy Hilfiger, Walt Disney, and all the other companies that have hated Jews and been involved in the persecution of Jews in the past or the present the list go's on and on? i say that every one knows that the Germans happens to make one of the best cars on te market today, so dont' feel hate that just gets you no where but buy it and get to shul on time and in stile.

(32) Henry Link, December 17, 2007 1:07 PM

Deterrence

I too do not buy German products or products that contain German components. All actions result in consequenses. The nazi actions require that people not buy German as a deterrent to all mankind not to engage in such horrors in the future.

(31) Anonymous, December 17, 2007 11:25 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with Rabbi Salomon. Is it my imagination, or am i noticing mercedes' being driven all over our neighborhoods lately.What happened? What are people thinking? To buy a dishwasher or vacuum cleaner to be used in the privacy of your own home is one thing; but to brazenly drive and display THIS car in public is simply outrageous!

(30) Paul Charette, December 17, 2007 10:40 AM

Buy - Yes, Forget - No

I currently drive a German car and it has served me well -- over 277,000 miles and still going. As Rabbi Solomon states, Israel has an excellent trading partner in Germany and the modern German government is supportive of Israel when so many other countries are not. The German people have not forgotten the Shoah and what their people did to our people. Moving forward and trying to mend the relationship is good. Nevertheless, I very much understand Rabbi Solomon's avoidance of German products because of the profound emotional scars and certainly feel it is the right thing to do it it feels right for him.

(29) Gershon Perlman, December 17, 2007 8:07 AM

I do not buy German.

I too, cannot bring myself to buy German products. It's not only emotional, but has also to do with who and what I am and want to be. My goal in life is to be the best Jew I can be. I therefore left the States with all its luxuries, behind and moved to Israel. I lived in Gush Katif for 23 years until the soldiers ousted me at the expense of part of my "compensations." A Jew has to look at himself in the mirror every day and with no excuses answer the question "was I a good Jew today?"

(28) Anonymous, December 17, 2007 7:54 AM

I don't think we should stereotype ALL Germans. I happen to work with someone who is German, very nice man and is just as disgusted with what happened in the Holocaust. I think we need to be careful how we think in today's world. Of course, no one should forgive or forget what happened. I don't think not buying products from Germany will punish anyone or do anything. I do feel that I wouldn't buy a German car, partly because I couldn't afford one!

(27) Anonymous, December 17, 2007 7:12 AM

Germany is not Amalek

I don't believe Germany is Amalek. Was Oscar Schindler an Amalekite? Were the German American soldiers, who fought for the US even when it involved battle with their own people, Amalekites? I think not.

(26) Steven Kremer, December 16, 2007 9:48 PM

Guilty feelings

I have to admit that I do purchase German products. As a matter of fact I am a bit of a car buff and I own a german car. I try not to think about this topic and I try to rationalize my behavior and suppress my feelings of guilt. But this is quite hypocritical because, in the context of what was done to my family in the holocaust, I actually have a lot of enmity (putting it politely) towards Germans. I guess hypocricy is what it is.

(25) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 6:28 PM

I do not buy German products

Z'chor es asher asa lecha Amalek. We are commanded to remember what Amalek did to us. Not buying German products is one way I fulfill this mitzva, because if Germany is not Amalek, who is? Having lost over 140 known family members, Hashem Yinkom Damam, to the Nazis,I will not buy any German products and make it a point to tell that to storekeepers when I see them selling German products. I do not boycott their stores, but I want them to know I will not support today's German economy that was built, to a certain extent,literally on the ashes of my relatives. Many current German companies used slave labor during World War II and are thriving today. My father, a holocaust survivor, never wanted to set foot in Europe again and engrained in us the strong hatred of all things German. How can I feel any different about a nation that murdered my grandfather, aunts, uncles, and scores of other relatives?
True, today's Germans are, for the most part, not the same people but I cannot betray the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the honor of the survivors of the Holocaust.

(24) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 4:40 PM

Selective boycott

I agree that German products need to be boycotted with a slight modification. The question I ask is were these companies established or existed during the period of the holocaust? If yes, I avoid them like the plague. I will not buy even aspirin from Bayer. There are American companies I will not buy products from and will avoid from recommending in my business life in which my influence is listened to. Companies like IBM who provided support an hollerith cards to keep track of Jews, Ford, of whom Henry wass a virulent anti-semite and published the protocols of the elders of zion. I will not have the name FORD on my car. these and many more I will not forgive. the holocaust is something you don't forgive or forget. Given an opportunity, they will do it again. After all they are Amalek. As a matter of fact it is a Mitzvah not to forget!

(23) Ms.LZ, December 16, 2007 3:45 PM

I AGREE!!!

My fathers family was from Jena Germany. Some made it out, many did not.
They were educated professionals who thought they would be safe. Of my fathers family and extended family, only my father remains. There is rampant evil in the world as evidenced in the German collective unconscience. I don't think it is by emotional reasoning alone that we must avoid any purchase from Germany. Just a few months back, a Frankfurt Chabad Rabbi was stabbed walking back from shul on shabbos eve. He was carried home by friends and his wife called an ambulance. He was in stable condition in the hospital during the high holy days. Is Germany OK? I THINK NOT!!!

(22) Beverly Kurtin, December 16, 2007 3:11 PM

Devarin 24:16

Rabbi, please refer to Devarim 24:16. You are punishing the children for what the fathers did. In doing so, you are violating Torah.

That said, I understand your abhorrence of purchasing something made in the country that was committed to our total extermination; I lost 47 relatives in the Shoah. But it seems as though the Nazis changed our very DNA so that we have become reluctant to purchase products from the children of our would-be exterminators. Just as a practicing Jew has a built-in abhorrence to touching, let alone consuming pork.

I cannot blame your for your actions, but in so doing are you ignoring Torah?

(21) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 2:50 PM

The real boycott

How many Jews stay out of synagogue because when they went, they heard praises of the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Source of Mercy and Justice Who appeared to do nothing during the Holocaust? I've read the man-has-free-will argument and it's weak. How much free will did the victims have?

(20) Rebeca, December 16, 2007 2:04 PM

Neither my husband nor I had any member of our families even close to the areas where the holocaust took place, but we could never bring ourselves to buy any German product. No matter how many times one sees or reads of the atrocities that our people suffered, it is as for the first time. The reality is too horrendous for being reminded every day of our lives with a product from that source.

(19) Martin, December 16, 2007 1:51 PM

Let's not play G-d ...

in whom to never forgive and never forget.
Yes, Germany is a country of contrasts and social and racial issues now more than ever since the end of WWII. I am saying this after having spent there 14 years of my recent life.

However, the emphasis should be on 'contrasts'. US is no less split and torn apart and went through historical motions and decisions during WWII and thereafter we'd rather not remember anymore (those who want, may want to read Philip Roth' 'Plot against America'). It is still a great country. Somehow, we grant it the view of the whole picture when making up our minds. Why not applying the same approach to other countries, especially those sharing same values?

Be it as it may, villifying a country as an entity for ever will not help make the world a better place. But, is the latter not we all want, Jews and non-Jews alike?

Shalom!

(18) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 1:43 PM

Forgive about massacre? No. Buy? Good question.

Forgiving about the horrific massacre of our people, no way! It was planned with many details from the beggining and we have no rights to speak for the dead that were killed by them. If your family was killed by a driver would you forgive him?
Your first priority is to buy from your own people (if the price isn't tens of percentages higher or lower quality). If you don't find what you're looking for, search for the products from other countries or people. In the last case, buying from Germany or Germans would mean your'e doing it for your own benefit. Buying from them doesn't mean you forgive them or that you hate them. It's a kind of neutral approach since it's a different generation still with the hatred potential of their ancestors. We have to unite between ourselves, that's more important.

(17) l. baum, December 16, 2007 1:41 PM

can't forget

Dr. Salomon,
I can't buy German products...I know Israel buys all their taxis from Germany but i just can't buy anything....I get a lot of heat from family explaining that germany is a trade partner of israel and the nation supports the Jews of today with laws against anti-semitismm...but some anger against years of horrors need not be forced away but i believe should be remembered if only to honor the anguished souls of the victims and surivors. Thank you for your thought provoking columns....

(16) Denise Rootenberg, December 16, 2007 1:40 PM

I am glad to see someone still stands by his ethics

Why should we be expected to forgive the Nazis so quickly and contribute to their economy? People these days can't deal with any unpleasantness or discomfort. There are so many other product choices we can make. I am also tired of hearing that it was only a few Germans who were bad (really - it took only three people to kill six million?) or that the modern generation are not responsible. Did all those Nazis suddenly change and teach their children to love Jews? NO.

I know a Jew who recently bought a Mercedes and is selling it because he had two serious accidents in just a few weeks. Coincidence? I think not.

I was so proud of my son's friend, he was only about 10 and they went to a friend's grandparents who drove a Porsche and Mercedes. He and my son were unimpressed and the boy told the grandparents, My parents would NEVER buy German cars.

(15) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 12:07 PM

Let's seek justice in all ways and forms.

Not buying German products is one way of continuing not to forget. A better way is to support organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation to continue to seek out individuals who have escaped prosecutions for war crimes.

(14) Becca, December 16, 2007 11:40 AM

I have spent extensive time in Germany. The majority of the people I met, knowing nothing of my Jewish background, carry a horrible guilt regarding the Holocaust. ESPECIALLY the young people. There is a new generation of Germans now, and they should be embraced rather than punished for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers. Yes, there are still anti-semites in Germany, but I don't believe there are more there than any other country on Earth. It is not necessary to fogrigve the Nazis for their crimes, but neither is it correct to continue to punish the children and grandchildren of the NAzis who had no hand in the torture and murder that took place during WWII.

(13) Peter, December 16, 2007 10:41 AM

Too many good Germans to hold on to this view

My parents are holocaust survivors and there were no holds barred in their feelings towards Germans and German products. Curiously, my father always owned Leica cameras ( he was avid amateur photographer), which puzzled me greatly, until I found out how the company's owner and founder, Ernst Leitz, has helped Jews before and during WWII.

Fast forward to the 2000's - I was at a party recently attended mostly by colleagues from work and a drunk friend of the hostess (not a colleague) arrived and started spewing venom about Jews. No one knew in the group that I am a Jew, but it was a German who came to the defense of Jews and put this guy in his place. The hostess then sent him home.

I think these incidents illustrate the need to let this attitude about Germans go. The Germans have expressed sorrow and embarrassment over the holocaust, and have made some symbolic monetary restitution. That's a lot more than Japan, for example, or most other nations involved in past atrocities. I think today's generation of Germans are a decent people, and we need to let this destructive attitude die.

(12) Andras Bereny, December 16, 2007 10:37 AM

BRAVO!

I'm glad you bought up this topic. Not just for my selfish, self-justifying reasons: I do not buy German products either. But because you were so right in pointing out that this behavior today is considered "extreme". I made aliyah a few years ago and was shocked to see the public transport companies using German made buses. I was told it is because of the financial "incentives" the Germans were given to Israel. I was also asked: "Which country represents greater danger to Israel today? Germany or America?" I answered "America". So, is it OK for a Jew to buy a Chevy? Or a Ford, with the Ford foudation financing the arabs? And how's about an Italian Fiat that collaborated with the nazi regime during the war? What would you say about Mitsubishi and its role in the war effort of Imperial Japan? Here in Israel they are rather popular and I've been told it is because they didn't kill Jews. My father, who was a partisan during the war has some investment in the Porsche Bank. I asked him "Do you know who Porsche was?" He said "yes, but they give me higher interest, so it's me who using them". I think my father is wrong.

(11) gilyons, December 16, 2007 10:17 AM

isnt it all from germany

much of leather production that reaches are shops is products. specially bottom market and top market comes from Germany the middle has many sources. all many kitchen goods are geman . boycotting gemrman products means boycittting most of what we use thats worth using i mean it was 60 years ago . You think its just a few car companys . Its more than you think . is there reallly a conbnection between these products and the nazi. i think also the rehashing of nazi germany is for ulyeria motives .rember the 6000000 and what theyb died for but leave the rest alone

(10) Moishe Yossel, December 16, 2007 8:57 AM

"For everything there is a season"

"For everything there is a season." The question is, is now a time to think rationally or act emotionally? The answer is your choice. I know mine.

(9) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 8:32 AM

I am sad

Normally I like Rabbi Salomon's talks. Every week they give me something to think about. But this one's made me very sad. I lived in Germany and I met a lot of wonderful Germans. Most of them try very hard to take responsability for what happened. I think for our own inner peace, our own healing we should start to see them as human beings and not as Nazis because they are no Nazis anymore but people who care about us and our people.

(8) Benyamin Buxbaum, December 16, 2007 8:26 AM

German firms are Irans largest trading partners

Even if, as some have commented, people feel queasy about boycotting German produts based on past history, German firms today are the most heavily invested in supplying rogue states with destructive weaponry, most notably Iran.

Similarly, many in America have joined the current strong boycott of Ford cars (which include Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda all owned by Ford) due to their strong support of anti-Israel organizations.

(7) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 8:16 AM

Understandable

Dear Rabbi Salomon,

I understand why you have decided not to purchase German products. Certain things can not be rationalized and when a person has strong emotions towards(especially when its relevant to the person)something it is hard to be persuaded. A good explanation to why people prefer not to buy German products is not to cause a downfall in Germanys economy (since so many people purchase their products, and the % who dont buy is so minute), but rather an emotional tie to their parents and many other people who have perished in the Holocaust- Hashem Yimkom Domo, This is very understandible, and I feel anyone who chooses to do so has a right if S/he has a connection with the Jews who perished during the Shoah, physically or spiritually. "Kol Yisrael Areivim Ze Laze- We are all connected." One thing that wasnt clarified for me was why you ran out of the store, i understand its a very emotional thing, and might spark memorys. But it might have made the Owner of the store feel bad, as if he did something wrong. Stores everywhere sell german products, so its impossible not to do business with a store just because , of the items they display. Or sell. Then again I am Just speculating, and have not awarely encountered numerous German products.
Sincerely- Understandible

Ps. I dont Know if this is customary but i would like to hear what you have to say.



(6) ross, December 16, 2007 8:05 AM

How can we say?

All of my relatives came to America in the early 1900's. I can't even to begin to guess how it feels to even know someone personally who went through the Holocaust, especially a family member, or what kinds of feelings that generates in a person, whether 20 years later, even 60 years later, or 100 years later. It's not possible for me to judge such a thing. I can't dismiss someone else's feelings on something I know nothing about, because my feelings on the Holocaust can't possibly be the same as yours, no matter how disgusted I am with the Nazis!

(5) Rosen, December 16, 2007 6:41 AM

German & Chinese products

I can understand the phobia of Jews avoiding to buy German cars or products, however, aren't most of the things we buy in America made in China?

Usually, I hear Jews having phobias to buying German cars, like when Sara Silverman joked at it being "gay", or when a famous Jewish director on the show "Entourage" in one episode called a BMW a "Nazi sled".

Between German and Chinese products, it appears that China makes far more things for America than Germany, and I don't usually hear us Jews complaining too much about doing business with China, whether it be that we have better relations with China or like Chinese food, especially on xmas day.

All in all, it would depend on each Jewish individuals taste and choice whether he/she would want to buy either a German car or made elsewhere.

(4) Anonymous, December 16, 2007 6:13 AM

quiet repulsion

I usually don't think about whether or not a product is made in Germany until recently when I bought some high quality down comforters which after bringing home realized that they were of German origin and I felt a repulsion in my stomach and really wished that I had checked this out prior to purchasing. I don't hate modern day germans but I am repulsed by the actions of nazi germany and as a result would rather not bring any German made products into my life or into my home.

(3) Disagree, December 16, 2007 5:05 AM

A person who strongly disagrees

Rabbi Salomon is usually so analytical and so intelligent, so it's surprising to see him admit that his decision on this matter is based on a "feeling," without giving any rational reasons. This seems similar to me to the "feeling" that others have had historically for not doing business with Jews.

(2) Disagree (part II), December 16, 2007 5:05 AM

A person who strongly disagrees

Modern-day Germans had nothing to do with the Holocaust. How is punishing them for the sins of their fathers fair? Also, as the Rabbi noted, Germany is currently a huge trade partner and friend to Israel. Again, why should it be punished for things none of (or less than .01 percent of) the current citizens or leaders were involved with? This vengeance and anger harms the Rabbi more than any individual German, and may even be a Chillul HaShem (because it makes Jews look irrational/angry/vengeful/non-forgiving).

(1) Eric Fenster, December 16, 2007 3:04 AM

Is This the Proper Outlook?

Rabbi Salomon, I'm a big fan of yours and therefore feel comfortable asking about this particular blog. I've been taught that retaining anger against a specific person or people for any wrong that is done to us is not very Jewish, and rather simply emotional. My understanding is that the proper Jewish view on this matter is that the Nazis were merely the evil vehicle of a divine decree, and that a continued punishing of the Germans demonstrates a certain lack of faith in Hashem's benevolence. Would you be able to clarify this for me? Best wishes.

 

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