German camp fails to dispel Arab Jew-hatred

This article in the Washington Post  thoroughly disappointing but not unexpected in view of the anti-Jewish brainwashing prevalent in the Arab world – shows that antisemitism even among Arab refugees – is alive and well. Even a visit to a German concentration camp cannot dispel the idea that the Jews deserved to die, or that the Holocaust was not something uniquely evil.

“Maybe the Jews want to keep these places going so they can be seen
as victims forever,” he said of Sachsenhausen, which was mainly used for
political prisoners but by the beginning of 1945 held 11,100 Jews.

Jamo’s
response is not the usual reaction toEurope’s postwar conversion of
concentration camps into memorials and museums, places of atonement and
civic education that ask visitors never to forget the Nazi past.

 Osman Jamo, a Syrian refugee (left) standing at the gates of Orienenburg/Sachsenhausen camp (photo: Alexandra Rojkov/Washington Post)

 

But
this was not a typical tour — nor was Jamo a typical visitor. This was
an effort to sensitize Muslim migrants to the dark history of the
country that today offers them asylum. Two years ago, Jamo, 38, fled to Germany from Kobane, a Syrian city occupied by Islamic State militants
in late 2014. His ambivalent response to the suffering of Jews at
Sachsenhausen speaks to centuries-old religious strife as well as to
the political conflict that has torn the Middle East since Israel’s founding after World War II.

At
the same time, the refugee’s views reflect the moral quandaries posed
by mass migration for a nation rebuilt after the Holocaust on a set of
bedrock principles that includes responsibility to the Jewish people.

“There
is an expectation that people coming to Germany will assume that sense
of historical duty,” said Fatih Uenal, a German-Turkish political
psychologist who is founding a vocational training program for refugees
in Frankfurt. “That makes the higher incidence of anti-Semitic views
among Muslims hard to talk about, and so we haven’t found a good way of
engaging different sorts of people about the violence that went on
here.”

Jamo was exploring Sachsenhausen with R.future-TV, a
nonprofit in Berlin that brings together refugees to discuss German
history and social issues, featuring them in short films on topics from
theology to gender equality. The project, run by two actors, Nina Coenen
and Sami Alkomi, has received 9,000 euros of public funding for five
films.

The spectacle of brutality on display at Sachsenhausen
did not awe Jamo, a former photographer who had known daily violence in
Syria. No matter the direct perpetrator of the violence Jamo had
witnessed, the greatest cause of conflict in the region, he said, was
Israel.

“Israeli aggression is the most basic problem,” he said.

His view is at odds with the one stated by Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel,
in an address to the Israeli Knesset in 2008, when she said Israel’s
security was a critical part of Germany’s “reason for being.” On
visiting Dachau in 2015, she said the horrors of the camps “admonish us
never to forget.”

The history that binds Germany to
Israel is interpreted differently by many in the Arab world, Jamo said:
“The Arabs think what Hitler did was a good thing, because he freed them
from the Jews.”

He spoke bluntly before a video camera that
followed him around the site of the former camp. His remarks will appear
in a documentary film about how refugees in Germany understand the mass
murder of Jews.

Jamo was one of only two refugees involved in
R.future-TV who agreed to participate in the film project on Holocaust
history. Germany’s treatment of Jews has been a difficult topic of
debate, said Alkomi, a Christian whose family escaped to Germany from
Syria when he was 9. At a meeting of the group last month, one man
admitted, “In some ways, we think of the Jews just like the Nazis did.”

Such
opinions are grounds for concern that animus for Israel in the Arab
world translates into anti-Semitism among the refugee community in
Germany. Numerous studies conducted over the last decade suggest that
hostility to Jews is more prevalent among Muslim youth in Germany than
among young people generally. Tensions simmered this spring when
the parents of a 14-year-old boy said they had removed him from a Berlin
school with a high proportion of pupils of Turkish and Arabic descent,
alleging he was bullied and at one point told, “All Jews are murderers.”

In
survey results released this year, an independent panel set up by the
German Parliament found that Jews were “increasingly concerned for their
safety,” with respondents ranking Muslims as the group most likely to
commit physical and verbal attacks. Lawmakers pledged to respond but have deferred action until after the September election. 

 

“A
lot of Muslim refugees,” said Josef Schuster, president of the Central
Council of Jews in Germany “grew up in countries where hatred of Jews
and of Israel is normal.” Many know little about the Holocaust, he said,
“and some even admire Hitler.”

Others
cautioned against singling out Germany’s refu­gee population as
anti-Semitic. Ali Fathollah-Nejad, an associate fellow with the German
Council on Foreign Relations’ Middle East and North African Program,
said anti-Semitism “cannot be written off as a problem of the Muslim
minority.”

Armin Langer, coordinator of the Salaam-Schalom
Initiative, an interfaith group based in Berlin, said this charge is
used to vilify immigrants. 

“Anti-Semitism is not a question of
ethnicity,” said Langer, who has done rabbinical training. “It’s a
question of social and cultural influences.”

In Iraq,
anti-Semitic influences are pervasive, said Mohammed Kareem, the other
refu­gee who had agreed to participate in the film. But Kareem, 34, who
had been a police officer in Baghdad, spoke with his back to the camera,
worried for his family still in Iraq if he were to be identified as “a
friend of the Jews.”

“Everywhere — whether on the TV, from Imams
or at school — we hear, ‘Jews are not good,’ and we don’t know any Jews
to see them differently,” Kareem said. Since arriving in Germany in
2015, he has encountered several Jews who volunteer at a Berlin church
that works with refugees. And now he is asking himself, “‘Why does my
country say Jews are not good?’ Their armies — that’s different.”

At
Sachsenhausen, Kareem and Jamo peered into the gaping trench where
prisoners were shot, examined images of the dead and took cellphone
photos of each other by the crematorium. Kareem said he recognized that
Germany had violated human rights. They decided the Jewish people could
be distinguished from the state of Israel.

Read article in full

8 Comments

  • It has to be said that Armin Langer is not a rabbi, and that he is an attentionwhore for anti-israeli causes. He openly cooperates with salafists – despite being gay – and has called muslims "the new jews".

    Reply
  • Reply
  • The culprits of the Arab-Muslim myopia regarding the holocaust among the masses (educated, semi-educated, and the illiterate (does not matter which)are three under-currents whose effects would never be erased regardless. Never. Only with recurrent containment and sometimes forceful actions would these cretins come to the realization that the holocaust was real and it is now occurring in their own backwards (Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Darfur, Somalia, Libya). Of course, these are not seen as genocides by them.

    The factors. These are the most important that come to my mind. They maybe others..

    1. The mad prophet of Islam dealings with the 6th century Arabian Jews. They did not accept this message. Why should they? How can a prophet begins his missionary work by attacking caravans to spread his religion. It looks to me like this is an army general of the like of Trosky's Red Army or Makhno's Ukrainian militia. (No further comments)

    2. Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The conspiratorial half-baked theories of Jewish dominance and advancement of plots and schemes to destabilize and corrupt the Muslim world. (I will drink to that but not with educated Muslims, the religious ones do not drink).

    3. Israel as a state. This leads to the Palestinian victimization thesis. (The end of story- in your face defeat of all Arab countries combined and it is still kicking and these from ineffectual and scheming Jews- It is very hard to swallow).

    Untangling these mixed batch of factors will certainly be a miracle, let alone trying to dissuade the masses of the credulous mad people from their myopia. Perhaps when this is done, we can then begin talking about peace.

    Reply
  • Try:
    His desire to quash any Jewish presence speaks to the migration of Nazi officers and their policies into Syria after WWII as well as centuries of Quranic anti-Jewish teaching.
    –malca

    Reply
  • So is the Post: " His ambivalent response to the suffering of Jews at Sachsenhausen speaks to centuries-old religious strife as well as to the political conflict that has torn the Middle East since Israel’s founding after World War II.
    –makca

    Reply
  • Jews weren't some tyrannical force that ruled the Middle East that Arabs needed to feel grateful to Hitler for getting rid of in another continent. These people are deluded

    Reply
  • It seems that this refugee Jamo is ethnically Kurdish instead of Arab if he says he's from Kobane(which is the Kurdish name of the city). So much for the relatively progressive reputation of Syrian Kurds.

    Reply

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