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Modern Germany & Jews

Modern Germany & Jews

The sad truth about today's rampant anti-Semitism in Germany.


Three years ago I was contacted by an editor of Rowohlt, one of the biggest book publishers in Germany. She said she loved my articles in the Zeit, the prestigious German newspaper I’ve been writing for, and would like me to come to Germany for a few months, interview people and write about them “in the same style you write for the Zeit.”

It didn’t take long to convince me and soon enough I showed up in Germany.

Unbelievable landscapes, delicious food, shiny museums, celebrated intellectuals, tireless farmers, sleepless artists, blasphemous zealots, faithful atheists and a highly modern society welcomed me. All I had to do was to befriend everybody.

Germany, I sadly found out, was obsessed with Jews. Even those who claimed to like Jews had very strange thoughts about them.

I interviewed people from all walks of life. From the famous chain-smoking iconic Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, to the forlorn heroin addicts on the streets of Frankfurt; from the publisher of the largest European daily, Bild, to obscure bloggers; from the Prime Minister of Saxony, to bored museum guards; frail WWII veterans, to sporty high schoolers; radical leftists who want to overthrow the government, any government, to neo-Nazis who won’t settle for anything less than Adolf Hitler; top officials of Mercedes and Volkswagen, to street sellers of cheep necklaces; educated and illiterates; rich and poor; on the east and on the west, in the north and in the south.

We ate together, drank together, and they talked.

Hardly a day passed by without at least one interviewee talking to me about the “rich Jews," the "shrewd Jews," the Israelis who eat Palestinians for breakfast on a daily basis, the "manipulating Jew," or anything else "Jew."

Even those who claimed to like Jews had very strange thoughts about them.

Germany, I sadly found out, was obsessed with Jews. Even those who claimed to like Jews had very strange thoughts about them. Some told me that all Jews knew each other, others said that all Jews helped each other, and still others claimed that all Jews were "very good" with money.

The people thus talked and I wrote down what they said, word for word. I submitted the book, a testimonial to the rampant anti-Semitism in today's Germany, to my editor.

We met a week later and she told me that she cried and laughed when reading the book and that it was even better than what she had expected it to be. But the head of the publishing company, who comes of Germany’s top families, went into a rage. He told me that I couldn’t write and that the book needed serious editing.

I asked him to show me what good writing was.

He did.

If there was a line in the book about people not liking “Jews,” he demanded that I change the word to “Israel.”

A chapter about a club that preached the killing of all living Jews had to be erased, he ordered. If somebody told me in an interview that the Jews were “the real Nazis,” their words had to be changed or cut.

Only if I obeyed him, I was led to understand, would I become a "good writer."

He didn't stop there. He went really low, at one point calling me a "hysterical Jew." And then he broke our contract.

No American publisher I approached agreed to give the book life. No matter what evidence at hand, mainstream American publishers were not willing to take on Germany. Taking on a Western ally, I guess, is not on the agenda of present-day publishers.

Fearing that the book’s findings would get forever lost, the Jewish Theater of New York decided to make the book available to Americans and published it under the title “I Sleep in Hitler’s Room.”

In December of 2012 one of the most prestigious of German publishers, Suhrkamp, made the book available in Germany, under the title “Allein unter Deutschen.”

Initially, German critics went ballistic, passionately denying the book's findings that most Germans today hold anti-Semitic views.

One of them, in the highly regarded Liberal newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, didn't shy away from going racist, shamelessly referring to me as "the Jew Tenenbom."

Responding to the growing claims against me, I offered to face any intellectual willing to debate me in public.

Standing before the people who demanded honesty, it soon became very clear that my staunchest critics assailed the book without actually reading it.

Happily, other critics took a closer look at the book and published glorious reviews. Tens of thousands bought the book, sending it to the top 10 of Spiegel magazine's best sellers list (equivalent to the New York Times best sellers list in the U.S.), and thousands of the book's fans attended public readings across Germany.

At its conclusion, I ended my journey into Germany having many more friends than when I started it.

This makes me happy, as having new friends is always good, but this doesn't mean that I'm not worried. I am, and much more than I ever was.

Germany is a wonderful, beautiful country, its society one of the more sophisticated of our time.

Germany must wake up to its cancer, before it will be fatally consumed by it.

Germany's cultural institutions, such as museums, theater and journalism, are the most advanced in the Western world – which probably explains why its society's stars are not movie actors but intellectuals.

To me, and as far as I could witness, most of those intellectuals are pseudo intellectuals: they are brainy beyond repair, full of themselves, have a very narrow view of the world, lack a healthy sense of reality and, worse yet, suffer from acute anti-Semitism.

Again and again, history teaches us where this senseless hate will lead.

Before WWII, just as now, Germany was very advanced for its time, proudly holding one of the best human rights records. But then as now, the people had hate inside their hearts at the same time their mouths were uttering the loveliest words of freedom.

It was Adolf Hitler who knew to their deeper thoughts and he turned them into the most sadistic known to humanity.

If today Germany doesn't wake up to its inner hate, a more sophisticated Adolf will appear and nobody will be powerful enough to stop him.

It is time to tell Germany, in the clearest of words: People who suffer from cancer can't afford to ignore it. Germany must wake up to its cancer, before it will be fatally consumed by it.

Telling Germans the truth is not hate but the purest form of love. I deeply love them, and therefore I deeply care.

This op-ed originally appeared on

June 1, 2013

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Visitor Comments: 106

(71) Anne, December 28, 2015 7:43 AM


Wow, i've seldom read so much rubbish in one place. I'm german, lived here all my life in different places of the country and never once have i met a person (neo-nazi morons not included) who said that jews were weird or shrewd or whatever nonsense you claim. The only thing i can relate to is that they were good with money. But is that something bad? It's true, isn't it? That's because a lot of them worked in business, banks, whatever. A lot of them had a good education. And no, anti-semitism as in anti-jewish...isn't on the rise in Germany. Definitely not. And why would there be? Germans are deeply ashamed of the Holocaust and we are reminded of it on a daily basis in one way or another as well as a thorough education about it in school plus a visit to one of the camps. I would rather say that Islam is an issue. You know, forced marriage, veiled women, patriarchy, hard-core Moslems as in Sharia laws...that stuff. Not a generalization. To say that anti-semitism is growing in Germany comes close to lying and it shows that the author of this article seems to have some kind of agenda. have you been to any of the memorials? To any of the museums of the camps? Have you attended a history lesson in school? Have you watched any tv at all during your time here? Surely you noticed something, didn't you?

Maybe the author of this article should have met with jewish germans and asked them what life is like. And maybe you should rather watch the growing and acute anti-semitism in your own country. That's what worries me.

(70) kris, June 19, 2015 4:58 AM

Bitter Perceptions

No one is going to like to hear this, but from a German sensibility stand point, Jew's lost their Deutschland card, after they where perceived to have betrayed Germany during WW1.

Until that wound is healed, no amount of talking or kicking the can around, will solve anything. If Jew's wish to heal the rift, they should investigate the matter honestly, and if a betrayal of any sort, no matter the reason's behind it or how small, they should apologize, give German's a hug, and focus on the 2,000 year history German's and Jew's share together, preferably the pre-Catholic history, because when the Catholic's took over, everything went south, and after the reformation stabilized, when Luther died, things began to improve again, until WW1.

Luther for all his virtues and questionableness(seemed to suffer from a kind of mania at times), only became antisemitic, because he thought he could convince the Jew's to convert, and was sorely disappointed and became vindictive when it became apparent that wasn't going to happen(unless I misread a few books). Speaks more for Luther's mental state, then anything else. As for Nazism, the early 20th Century was a time of madness, for German's and Jew's alike. Both have much blood on their hands, both are often guilty of the same types of mistakes.

German's and Jew's, are hated peoples. Other peoples will always chime in, and praise Jew's when they wish to attack German's, and praise German's when they wish to attack Jew's.

Look at any article about German's on most websites, or any article about Jew's on most websites. Study the pattern's in the comments.

This is a dated article, so I apologize for both my lateness, and necroing of an old article.

(69) Johnny Masada, September 14, 2013 6:54 AM

"Ich bin Deutscher"

I have a friend. His father was liberated as a child from a death camp having lost his entire family.

I had several friends visiting from Germany and we went to see my friend - his father happened to be there and hearing his childhood language came out and introduced himself - Proudly

"Ich bin Deutscher"

after a visit and we left my German friends were puzzled - Why does he say he is a German? Is he not a Jew?

(68) William Smith, June 26, 2013 1:20 AM

I feel it growing

I have to admit I believe anti-semitism is on the rise. One of the many reasons I come to Aish as a gentile is that I appreciate their insight far more than any one talking in the States. Hitler claimed that Jews were the source of morality and conscience and that is why they needed to die. That feeling is on the rise here in the States and it's only a matter of time before the past repeats itself. Logic would dictate, the fastest way to end religion is to purge the religious. By any means necessary.

barak ben haim, January 6, 2014 6:06 AM

a gentile sees

this is one of the reasons i got of america and moved to israel.

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