“We Don't Want to Be the Jews of Tomorrow”: Jews and Turks in Germany after 9/11

Gӧkçe Yurdakul and Y. Michal Bodemann

in The Divergence of Judaism and Islam

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037516
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042107 | DOI:
“We Don't Want to Be the Jews of Tomorrow”: Jews and Turks in Germany after 9/11

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This study of the former Ottoman Empire and the Balkans accentuates commonalities, shared destinies, and the necessity of interdependence. The Judeo-Muslim connection in Germany—a member-state of the European Union—centers on the large Turkish-Muslim community that seeks to emulate German Jewry of the past and present. Turkish-Muslim immigrants in the new geography familiarize themselves with the German-Jewish narrative of historic sufferings and associate their own concerns over racism with the ostracizing of Jews under the Third Reich. Muslim communal leaders compare the Holocaust with the fire-bombing of Turkish homes by German rightist extremists; they use today's Jewish community organizations as examples of how to organize as a minority; and Turkish immigrant associations claim minority rights from the authorities identical to those of German Jews. Simultaneously, Muslim leaders evince solidarity with their Jewish compatriots, notably in Berlin, where attempts have been made to forge an alliance against discrimination. The situation in Germany is different from in France, where Muslim–Jewish tensions in the past ran high and even resulted in violence. Anti-Muslim activity following 9/11 and attributed to racist elements reinforced fears—real or imaginary—that the fate of the country's Turkish-Muslim minority in the twenty-first century might duplicate the Jewish tragedies of the previous century.

Keywords: Germany; European Union; commonalities; Third Reich; Anti-Semitism; Holocaust; Turkish immigrants; Judische Geminde; Turkische Geminde; Berlin

Chapter.  8996 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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