Jtube: ESPN: On the German Team

While we should never forget, do we forgive?

While we should never forget, do we forgive?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (47)

(34) David Levine, October 16, 2020 2:09 AM

Good For Evan

A New York politician once said, "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em." Evan was a good hockey player in Minnesota and obviously was because he played in the farmland for hockey players. He wanted to take himself to the next level, but could not in the US so he did the reverse of what many foreign athletes did and went abroad. If a German hockey team was willing to sign him, why not? Let him dispel many images that Germans have of Jews and remain a true and loyal son of Israel while doing so which he obviously has.

(33) Joseph Apicella, January 14, 2014 2:17 PM

Germany is one of the largest trading partners of Israel

It is a matter of record that Germany is second to the United States in doing business with Isreal.

(32) Anonymous, November 10, 2013 6:58 PM

On Forgiveness

Halacha Hi Byadua Shaesav Sone LYaakov. while the germans may say that they are sorry for the atrocities commited against us, i wouldnt want to be with them long enough to see what is actually going on inside their hearts

(31) Anthonie Seymour, January 17, 2013 9:07 PM

Jews compensate through excellence

Jews have always compensated for public opinion by compensating through excellence. It's a biblical principle. Joseph, Daniel and Ester are all examples of how we are to handle difficulty. Trust G0d, and be a class act. The world will always make way for excellence.

(30) Tzvi, November 4, 2012 3:41 PM

We do not have permission to forgive

"We do not have permission to forgive them" -Chief Rabbi Lord Emanuel Jacobowitz

(29) Anonymous, September 11, 2012 4:10 PM

I could not forgive. I would be ashamed to wear the German flag on my person.

I would be ashamed to wear the German flag on my body, or do anything for the glory of the Nazi state. Never forget, never forgive!

(28) Chaim Klein, August 10, 2012 9:52 PM

Orthodox children and grandchildren buy German cars

Why be upset at this young man who is merely living his dream Why is this any worse than "haimishe" Jews who have no compunction buying Mercedes or BMW cars, Bosch appliances, German knives and dinner china for status purposes. I think that after we Orthoprax people clean up our act, then we can discuss others. Do Orthoprax Jews go to Spain for holidays? I think that the the medeaval rabbis placed a Cherem on Spain? I understand that Generalissmo Franco deserves some hakarat hatov ( is there any ?) but does it justify vacationing in Spain. What about France, a nation that gladly collaborated with the Nazis and continues to be a source of anti-Semitism. I can do this through much of the world, which regularly supports anti-Israel resolutions at the UN. Let's remember the SS St. lLuis that was turned back and most of the Jews perished. Most Jews venerate Roosevelt. What about Canada, who's immigration minister said "None is too many" at the Vichy Conference and refused Jewish immigration. What about Hungary? On and on, ad nauseum.

(27) Anonymous, August 3, 2012 12:09 PM

What about the graves of Gedolim?

I visit Germany from time to time, where my parents, grandparents lived and suffered. I always include visits to the concentration camps or what remains of them. And I always visit the Jewish cemeteries to place stones on grave markers, including Rav S. R. Hirsch's grave. Should no one place a stone there? Should no one visit? When I do, I always keep things in perspective, including the fact that Germany today continues to trade with those who seek our destruction, like Iran, or as it did with Iraq. Some things have changed. Some things have not.

(26) DALE, July 28, 2012 2:24 PM


Becky Schrieber, July 31, 2012 12:58 AM


How in the world can you call identification and representation of a nation that did the evilest of actions and schemes a Triumph?!?!? The yellow star is something that although it caused difficulty and hardship at that time; the jews wore with pride. The yellow star is a symbolism of a nation that kept their spark of humanity in the most inhumane conditions!! There are countless of stories of Jews who gave away their last piece of bread to help their fellow brethren or who risked their lives to keep Torah and Mitzvot in the most dangerous and unbearable condiions... I would be ashamed to ever wear that accursed symbol on my arm!! One of the main reasons that led up to world war 2 was the assimilation of Jews and the fact that we became popular. The Germans could not stand that we were overpowering their country! Doing that again could be coming full circle but it could also be a colossal mistake!!

Anonymous, July 31, 2012 2:07 PM

Do you know his grandfather?

It seems inappropriate to presume what a deceased grandfather may or may not have endorsed. I can only once again quote the UK's Late Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovitz when he was once asked by a reporter if he could forgive Germany for what they did. His response was "I was never given a mandate to forgive". Who are we to step in and suggest forgiveness? Our only guide remains the Torah that tells us "Timcheh Et Zecher Amolek". Eradicate the memory of Amalek. There is no doubt about the roots of the German evildoers. May their memory be destroyed forever!

C L, August 14, 2012 12:31 AM

forgiveness can only be given by the one the crime was done to

The only people who really have the right to decide if they do or do not forgive the Germans are Holocaust survivors.

Chani, November 26, 2012 3:24 AM

A Jew wearing a German flag is a triumph? I very much disagree, the Jews were wearing German flags before they were forced to wear yellow stars and were exterminated. It disgusts me to think what his teammates grandfathers were doing during the war. We should be able to grow and flourish as the future unfolds and grandchildren can not be blamed for the grandfathers crimes but to forgive, never. Absolutely never.

(25) Elliott Baral, July 25, 2012 10:38 PM

This is a true Jewish success story

Don't be so quick to label this a tragedy, because there are many dimensions to this story. Just one (which I believe is infinitely more important than which team he plays for): he married a Jew. How many other young American Jews did that? Objectively, from a Jewish perspective, Mr. Kaufman and his wife are already a great Jewish success. May they continue to enjoy many more Jewish simchos!

(24) Independent, July 25, 2012 6:52 PM

Austrian responsibility

What have the following in common? Hitler, Kaltenbrunner, Eichmann, Seys-Inquart. Where did Hitler imbibe his anti-semitism?

(23) Eva Weiden, July 25, 2012 3:56 PM

forgive and forget-------not

While we cannot blame the people who were born after the war for the holocaust, we must not forget or forgive the ones who were responsible. If you don't remember your history how can you prevent the same tragedies from occuring? Take note of the anti-semitism sweeping the world today.

(22) Sarah Lascar, July 25, 2012 2:57 AM

Our duty is to remember

I would never wear the German flag on my back or even become part of a team. The German Jews were very nationalistic and were proven that in spite of what they believed in the end, they were first Jews, an enemy of the state.

(21) Feigele, July 25, 2012 12:13 AM

Yes, life has to go on!

But a Jewish person wearing the German flag on oneself is an abomination. It’s like erasing/ignoring completely the past to support the worse criminals against humanity that existed. Yes, lots of German new generations feel the burden of their ancestors but nothing can ever erase what was done to millions of Jews and others. Yes, atrocities are also done in other countries, which should be a subject for another time. The matter at hand is the “Holocaust”. All I can say is: “watch your back.” Before the Holocaust lots of Germans were best friends to the Jews too. They didn’t hesitate to turn around and kill them.

(20) Lyone, July 24, 2012 4:32 PM

Today's Arabs vs. Yesterday's Germans?

It is so easy for so many commenters to condemn this young man for living among the *descendants* of Nazis. Yet, as others have noted, we choose, every day, to buy oil from living Arabs who are TODAY funding terrorism against Jews. Not only that, many American Jews are anti-Israel and pro-Arab, and we support politicians who are clearly pro-Arab. Kaufman isn't working for Nazis or Hitler. Look back at our history. There are many times that Jews returned to countries that expelled us, countries in which we suffered violence. He is one example of an age-old pattern. Your own ancestors did the same thing. His return is a sign of our victory, a statement of strength, no matter what the personal reasons behind it. I say good luck to him--and may many more of us follow.

(19) Emmess, July 24, 2012 3:36 PM

Forgive, never; overlook, perhaps.

It's an act of enormous ego and arrogance to "forgive" the Germans for THE crime of the last century. Personally, contributing in any way to Germany is shameful. Driving their cars and wearing Hugo Boss suits, named for the designer of Hitler's uniforms is a disgrace. Playing sports with their flag on my arm is an insult to the man who risked his life to save the Torah scroll is an affront to the memory of that great man but, hey, money is money and if you want to sell your soul for some fleeting glory, who am I to judge?

(18) Dena, July 24, 2012 3:08 PM

I don't get it

I watched the entire video and I still cannot figure out what the message was here. Basically, Kaufman appears to be saying that we need to put the past behind us and look to the future. This sounds absolutely ludicrous to me. Without our past we have no future. Maybe I just don't get it. To me, this video was just plain sad, sad, sad.

Anonymous, July 26, 2012 2:07 AM

He didn't say that we must FORGET our past, only to not dwell on it until we are consumed with it. We must use our past to help us in the future. But if we focus so much on our past, we lose sight of our future. Besides, the message of the film was that wallowing in self-grief doesn't help us. We must be strong, stand up and march forward.

richard, July 31, 2012 1:58 PM

I can only agree with you Dena.

Please read my earlier comments. Richard

(17) Anonymous, July 24, 2012 1:44 AM

thank you for adding this video to your wonderful site...i greatly appreciated hearing what this man and his family had to say...

(16) Meira, July 23, 2012 11:40 PM

Whom he represents?

It’s not only that he lives in the country that tried to annihilate his family. The main thing is how he will be able stand assimilation. The difference between assimilation and annihilation is plainly in means, but the result is the same… Are his children going to choose to stay Jewish? Is their environment sustainable to give them what made his grandfather to put his life at risk to safe Torah scroll?

(15) richard, July 23, 2012 8:49 PM

We're still here

The Jews were here before Hitler and we're still here. We've been around depsite all the attempts to eradicate us. There must be a message here somewhere; we didn't always have Israel to fight for us.

(14) richard, July 23, 2012 8:35 PM

Our duty is to remember. Who ever authorised us to forgive?

The UK's Late Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovitz was once asked by a reporter if he could forgive Germany for what they did. His response was "I was never given a mandate to forgive".

(13) richard, July 23, 2012 5:49 PM

I feel sorry for him being such a lost soul that he finds pride in wearing their flag.

It is sad that he feels so helpless and lacking in direction whereby his own skills are the only things he can live for. I doubt that any of his ancestors would have endorsed the crazy attitudes of today called "pluralism" that allows him to represent one of the most evil nations on earth. I wish him well and that he should soon find his way back to the truth of what Judaism stands for.

(12) sidney orr, July 23, 2012 4:24 PM

we can't choose our parents nor change the past - open your eyes

The Anglo-Saxons, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, the Catholic Church all make Hitler look PUNY, since they, and our ancestors have slaughtered innocents by the tens of millions. Our US 7th Cav could've taught Herr Adolph a few things or two about genocide, much less that wonderful institution that has slaughtered indigenous peoples and non-believers for nearly two thousand years.

(11) Miriam, July 23, 2012 3:49 PM


This is so wrong. So sad and so wrong. If he was living in Germany to spread Torah and Mitzvos, it would be different. But to live in Germany just to play hockey, to be a lead player on their team, not far from where his grandfather saved a Sefer Torah, is showing wrong priorities. Reading this right before Tisha B'av is especially saddening. 6 million Jews died so we can live Torah lives.Not so you can represent Germany and lead them in sports. I am sorry but this upset me very much.

Yael, July 26, 2012 2:04 AM

Not as wrong as you think...

Yes, I agree that it seems somewhat wrong for him to be a lead hockey player so close to where his grandfather risked his life to save a Sefer Torah. However, I think that even just his being a proud Jew in Germany is very strong. Before the Holocaust, many Jews in Germany were not proud, and some were even ashamed, of their Judiasm. The fact that Mr. and Mrs. Kaufmann live as proud Jews in a country so full of anti-semetism proves to the German people that while millions of Jews have been brutally murdered, (a fact which can never be overlooked) we still live on proudly. Am Yisrael Chai!

(10) Allan S. Park, July 23, 2012 3:23 PM


We are obligated,as Jews, to teach our children and grandchildren to never forget and never forgive the irrational atrocities inflicted upon our people not only by Germany, but also by so many other peoples through the ages. With G-d's blessing we now have our own country, Israel, to protect us so that it will not happen again.

(9) Lynn, July 23, 2012 12:51 PM

Good For You!

Good for you! I'm from Chicago, I live in Israel & I work with German volunteers on a kibbutz that works with mentally challenged young adults. I often think "What was your family doing during the war?". Whatever it was, these young people are giving a year of their lives to do good now. I'm glad I've had a chance to know these kids. I admire your courage & determination. It's positive that your team mates & others in your life have a chance to meet a guy like you who happens to be Jewish!

(8) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 11:25 AM

A Purpose?

I don't believe this to be random luck that he was given this opportunity to play for Germany. If he had refused this opportunity, what would that then say about him? His father even says that his grandfather would have been proud of him. I think he could do much more good than harm in this scenario. I live in Germany today as a Jew and go through many of the emotional struggles this man goes through. We do not know what the end result will be. I think he's been given a wonderful opportunity and also is challenged to use this opportunity for good. Quite a challenge to fulfill indeed.

(7) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 11:15 AM

It's hard to get mad at clear & present evil

Commenting on comments below, there's a sort of black humor in the way people are so quick to condemn Germans for what happened 70 years ago, while never flinching to fill their tanks with gas from Arabs who talk about & regularly kill Jews today. Think of the inconvenience of boycotting a gas station, my-oh-my. Then there are the 4 million who recently died in Congo, the millions of others in other current genocides, who don't get so much as a letter-to-the-editor, because everyone is just busy. Forget the evils we can do something about today, that's just too hard. It is so much easier to get mad at dead people.

Alan S., July 23, 2012 4:21 PM

not humor, but dealing with current realities

Tragedy is tragedy no matter where or when it occurred or occurs. Each individual's response is personalized. How Mr. Kaufman reacts today to the holocaust is his own business. Even if his father or grandfather would not be proud, Mr. Kaufman is an indivual and must do so according to the dictates of his own conscious. I am sure there are many Americans that would prefer non-Arab gas. Oft times, we have little choice but to buy gas pulled up from beneath Arab lands. Finally, if ever there was a people or nation that tried to protest killings of other peoples or nations, it is the Jews. What nation is often the first to lend a hand to other nations when man made disasters befall them, even offering their help to hostile nations? Need a little hint?

Richard Marcus, July 23, 2012 8:45 PM

No Jew`

No Jew who has any knowledge of our people went through would write the comment above signed "anonymous" Since the writer does not know what it is to be a Jew, he has no business writing here. The fact is simply this: EVERY Jew feels as if what has happened to the Jews for the past few thousand years, has happened to HIM or HER, personally. We feel, live, and breate eah other's lives in unison with our own. Whether or not this one or that one was personally 'In" the Holocaust does not matter: For it is my opinion that the Holocaust happened to every one of us who are Jews, and we will never forget it, or what Germany as a country, and its citizens gladly did as they lovingly, mindlessly followed their beloved leader, Adolf Hitler. That's o.k., the game is over; Hitler is an embarrasment to present-day Germany,; and we Jews not only are still existent, but we habve our own country, Israel, as well. I supose, in retrospect, we have Hitler to thank for that! May he rot in hell for another few more thousand years!

Anonymous, July 23, 2012 8:59 PM

The Arabs are no one's friends

Of course the Arabs hate (read: ENVY) the Jews. Arabs live next to a prosperous, happy, beautiful country that has contacts throughout the world. Meanwhile, the Arabs live right next door in the squalor and ignorance of their own making. Nothing Israel has offered to them has ever been accepted except the free medical care for their sick, their women, and children. Ever take your troubles to an Arab doctor??

(6) yehudit, July 23, 2012 10:55 AM


What a dilemma--fulfill a lifelong dream but with the grandkids of Nazi's. I feel bad for the guy--in more ways than one.

(5) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 10:49 AM

Thought provoking, and amazing.

Thank you for talking with the young man.... he seemed to have truly soul-searched while choosing his own life. I am amazed at his ability to balance things. He has chosen life!

(4) annie, July 23, 2012 5:10 AM


Would that the rest of us would so readily forgive and go on with our lives, as we ought. Posting that story about Mr.Kaufman, his ancestors, and his current situation is deeplly appreciated. May he and family be blest all their days.

(3) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 3:51 AM

This nauseated me. My parents lost their families in the war. I still can't bring myself to buy German made products. It's hard to fathom how he could wear the German flag. I guess money is enough for some people.

Moshe, July 23, 2012 9:39 PM

You know what nauseates ME? Nothing about what you sadi, but the fact that after writing a comment that criticizes this man so strongly, you were too much of a coward to write your name by the comment.

(2) gail, July 23, 2012 3:11 AM

we do not have the right to forgive an evil that was done to someone else - even a grandfather

Moving forward is an excuse for self advancement, pride and materialistic gain. Would a man who risked his life for Torah be proud of his grandson compromising his life for fame and fortune? I will not and do not buy German products and hopefully will never step foot in that country. And yes, I say that proudly.

Mordechai Shuali, July 23, 2012 2:55 PM

Deleted comment

This comment has been deleted.

Emmess, July 24, 2012 3:46 PM

There was an anti-Nazi camera

As a photographer in Germany in WWII, you had access to a camera that was "kosher". Leica saved thousands of Jews and used to give them a camera and a ticket to non-Nazi countries. With the free camera came the title of sales representative. Leica stands out as the only noble German brand.

(1) Jerry, July 22, 2012 12:38 PM

Great piece!

Jewish history can be so bizarre. Thanks for posting this.


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