“GERMANS & JEWS”— The Relationship

germans and jews

“GERMANS & JEWS”

The Relationship

Amos Lassen

Tal Recanati (an American Jew) and Janina Quint (a non-Jewish German) are two friends who began to look at the nature of the complicated relationship between Germans and Jews in today’s modern world. Recanati is an American Jew while Quint is a German gentile who finds a way to reconciliation even after the way Jews were treated in Germany for so many years. Germany has undergone transformation since the time of the Nazis. Quite basically, the film is an exploration of the complicated relationship between Germans and Jews in postwar Germany and the country’s transformation as a society. It is uncomfortable and provocative, unexpected and enlightening. But we see that in dealing with denial and acceptance, reconciliation emerges.

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I have always found it strange that the fastest growing Jewish population in Europe today is in Berlin and Germany. Germany is considered one of the most democratic societies in the world and is assuming the position of moral leader of Europe as they bring in hundreds of thousands of refugees. Try to think what would have happened if this had been the situation in 1945.

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The film takes place around a dinner table in today’s Germany. The purpose of the meeting is for two friends to discuss their relationship that is highly sensitive. The narrative then explores the post-war years—from victims to perpetrators to defenders of human rights and democracy. We see that Germans have made sincere and valiant efforts to face the past and to learn from it. After all, Germany has become a country that has built many memorials to the atrocities that she committed.

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We hear from Jews living in Germany, some who arrived after the war; others who were born and raised in post-war Germany; and still others who immigrated from Russia and Israel. According to estimates, there are close to 250,000 Jews living in Germany. Many of these are Israelis who have come to seek a more profitable life and the new German Jews become the seismograph of the society. The Jews are Historians, theologians, journalists, academics, businessmen, artists, and musicians and they all have something to say about dealing with the idea of German guilt, Holocaust fatigue, and anti-Semitism. It is an untold story, of Germans and Jews, inextricably linked through their memory of the Holocaust. There is a great deal to be learned here and while this might not be an easy film to watch for many, it is important and certainly leads to provocative discussions ands new ideas.

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Trailers are not yet available.

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