The Other and the Ordinary

Demystifying and Demusealising the Jew

in European Judaism
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  • 1 Free University Berlin
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The German public's perception of Jews is problematic in more than one way: besides an aggressive and latent anti-Semitism, less malicious clichés and even well-meaning efforts to relate to Jewish topics often fail to grasp the reality of Jewish life. Jews are predominantly associated with the Shoah, and thus with National-Socialism. They appear in research projects, documentary films, political debates and historical museums. If Judaism is portrayed as a contemporary culture at all, it is exoticised through visual topoi such as synagogues and kippot, Torah scrolls and paeyes, and transformed into a mysterious and obscure religion. Germans’ imagination of their Jewish fellow-citizens have little in common with the reality of Jewish life in Germany today.

European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe

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