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Germany puts out guide for Jewish tourists
By SAM SOKOL
03/23/2014
"From North to South, East to West – Germany abounds with glorious sites evoking its rich Jewish history,” promotional document explains.
 
Germany produced an electronic brochure to encourage Jewish tourism, which includes full-page ads by Israeli companies.

Available online, the 60-page English language document highlights German Jewish history as well as Jewish sites throughout the country and “special tips for Jewish travelers.”

Citing statistics from Germany’s National Tourist Board, the Religion News Service reported that “an increasing number” of Jews are making the trip to Germany and it seems that as the Holocaust recedes further into history the stigma attached to buying German is wearing off.

Germany is home to one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities, most of whose members are Russian speaking emigrés from the former Soviet Union.

Yekkes, or native German speaking Jews, form a distinct minority while an expatriate Israeli community has also formed.

According to RNS, the number of Israelis making overnight stops in the country increased by more than 15 percent between 2012 and 2013.

“Germany – from north to south, east to west – abounds with glorious sites evoking the country’s rich Jewish history,” the promotional document read.

However, the Germans did not shy away from the looming presence of 6 million murdered European Jews and cited their national quest: “To come to terms with a devastating legacy.”

“Even though we are in the second decade of the 21st-century, and World War II ended almost seven decades ago, the crimes committed against the Jewish people during the Nazi regime retain a singular identity in the annals of horror,” the booklet read.

“Yet, perhaps incredibly to some, today’s Germany is home to the third-largest Jewish community in Western Europe, indeed the only European Jewish community that is growing rather than shrinking.”

“What is beyond argument is how succeeding generations of Germans have demonstrated revulsion at the deeds of their forebears, have sought and earned compassion and have dedicated themselves to forging an entirely different Germany,” the government document asserted.

In the spirit of demonstrating that Germany has changed, “we in Germany are honored to convey a special invitation to the Jews of the world to visit our country.”
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