Brit Milah Illegal in Germany?Jun 29, 2012 at 07:38:00 AM
Brit Milah has been the hallmark of Jewish identification for millennia. This issue was particularly relevant in Nazi Germany when men were often made to strip down to determine their Jewish identity.
The point was made quite powerfully in a movie called "Europa Europa," the true story about a young Jewish boy trying to escape detection by the Nazis. The boy resembles an Aryan and speaks German fluently, so he poses as a non-Jew and is eventually recruited into an elite training program for the next generation of SS officers. Only his circumcision, which he couldn't hide, kept him Jewish. The man survived the war, and made a new life for himself in Israel. Instead, he may have ended up becoming a Nazi officer. It all depended on the Bris.
That's why so many are shocked at the ruling this week by a German court that renders religious circumcisions performed by Jews and Muslims a crime. Germany is home to an estimated 4 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews.
According to a report in Germany's Financial Times, the Cologne District Court declared circumcision is a "serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body." The court also ruled that freedom of religion and the rights of parents cannot justify the practice.