After Germany’s official reunification in 1990, the new government welcomed Jews from the former Soviet Union to re-establish the community Hitler had decimated. doctorate in nursing jobs Russian immigrants and their children, such as Rasumny, form the bulk of Germany’s Jewish population, which today stands at more than 100,000 — maybe as many as 200,000. (Precise numbers are elusive because the German government does not require citizens to reveal their religious affiliation, and the dogged question of “Who is a Jew?” further complicates an accurate count.) According to Grossman, the Jew who visited the nursing students at Alexianer last month, most German students today do not learn the full history of Jewish life in Germany and, instead, focus on the attempted Nazi genocide. “When you ask Germans what they think when they think of ‘Jews,’ you always have the Holocaust or the typical ‘black-hat Jew,’ ” Grossman told the Journal before her talk at the hospital. “That’s not the reality, is it?” She said she believes Holocaust education is diminishing in some German curricula as instruction about this time period competes with that of the Cold War era. Born under communism, which suppressed religious practice, Grossman “returned” to Judaism after the fall of the Berlin Wall, studying at the historic Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in the former East Berlin, led by a female rabbi and best known for its restored golden dome. As a program speaker and blogger on Jewish life in Germany, Grossman invites questions from German students that don’t dwell on the Holocaust. In fact, she said, she looks forward to when the Holocaust plays less of a role in Jewish identity and perceptions in Germany so she can feel the ease and normalcy she felt as a Jew living in Boston for several years. “Here, when you meet somebody not Jewish and you ‘out’ yourself as being Jewish, you get reactions like: ‘Oops, how do I behave now?’ ” she said.
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