The front page of the new German-language Jewish magazine.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – Seated in a café in the Hotel Kempinski in the bustling downtown shopping area of Berlin, Dr. Rafael Korenzecher explains why he launched Jüdische Rundschau, a new German- Jewish monthly magazine.
“We have a message and we are not a mainstream news outlet,” he says. Now, he stresses he “has the opportunity to reach the German public” and convey that “appeasement is a false policy.”
For Korenzecher, soggy capitulation means failing to confront Islamism in Europe and the Middle East, as well as the delegitimization of the Jewish state.
Jüdische Rundschau, loosely translated as “The Jewish Review,” devotes many of its articles to Israel, contemporary anti-Semitism and Jewish culture and music. The monthly, which Korenzecher launched in July, has a sister Russian- language publication.
The original Jüdische Rundschau was a weekly paper that appeared in Germany from 1902 to 1938. The paper’s last issue was printed one day before the infamous Kristallnacht pogroms on November 9, 1938. A headline on the front page of the 1938 issue still echoes today with respect to Syria: “France’s Palestine Problem: Concerns in Syria – France and England’s Levant policies.”
In a media era when publications are rapidly shifting from print to digital news, Korenzecher has cut across the grain by churning out a thick, 40-page monthly newspaper with a website platform.
Korenzecher, a high-energy, talkative publisher and physician by training, turned to the real-estate market as his occupation. He is active in fighting modern anti-Semitism in German and helped found the Coordinating Council of German Non-governmental Organizations against Anti-Semitism. Born in Poland after the Holocaust, he left as an adolescent with his family to relocate to Germany.
He has hired two academic experts in German anti-Semitism to serve as his senior editors.
In addition to their editorial work, Dr. Clemens Heni and Dr. Susanne Wein jointly conduct interviews and write articles for the monthly.
Asked why he decided to manage the paper, Heni tells The Jerusalem Post it was a “real chance once a month to bring together international and national voices in 40 pages covering topics such as Israel, anti-Semitism and the Iranian threat, which would otherwise not be heard or read in Germany.”
The printed purchased circulation – not including subscriptions – is 1,000 per month.
Heni says Jüdische Rundschau has a clear position that “stands behind Israel and has no problem criticizing the German government.”
The monthly has attracted some of the best and brightest journalists in Germany and Austria, who analyze anti-Semitism as well as anti-Israel and anti-American sentiments.
Alex Feuerherdt contributed an article on the “two-faced policies of Germany-Israel relations.” His departure point is Germany’s flourishing business relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran at the expense of Israel’s security.
Jennifer Nathalie Pyka, a journalist from Munich, outlined the German infatuation with the Middle East in her article “The German Patient: The land of 82 million Middle East experts.”
This month’s issue features a lengthy interview with a leading authority on anti-Semitism, Dr. Robert S. Wistrich, who is the Neuburger professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and directs the university’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of anti-Semitism.
Karl Pfeifer, a top expert on Austrian anti-Semitism, wrote a highly detailed article on Austrian politicians’ downplaying of Jew-hatred and the failure of major political parties to confront anti-Semitism.
The October issue also reaches across the Atlantic to interview US historian Dr. Jeffrey Herf on“post-Holocaust anti-Semitism.”
Korenzecher says his investment in the monthly is to show that Western values must be fought for: “We didn’t get what we wanted for free.”
He sees a dangerous alliance among political parties “from the Left to the Right” in Europe against Israel, adding that “the danger is rightwing radicalization, like in France.”