Even though we are decades removed from World War II, the crimes committed against the Jewish People during the Nazi regime retain a singular identity in the annals of horror. 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.
Visiting today’s Germany is a lesson in how a nation has sought to come to terms with a devastating legacy. After the war, a dedicated number of Germans were at the forefront of a movement to begin the long road, not only of atonement and redress, but towards the building of a new Germany. It is in this spirit that Germany.travel is honored to convey a special invitation to the Jews of the world to visit their country. As they do so, it would be naïve not to recognize that for many, contemplating a visit to Germany may never be without a mixture of emotions.
Germany.travel has compiled a detailed list of places to visit in Germany for the Jewish traveler. Here are just some of the places featured in their travel article:
In 1705, the Jewish Community of Bielefeld was founded. After the premises of the first synagogue became too small for the growing community, a new synagogue was built 1905; it was torched on Kristallnacht. Today, a Synagogue Memorial marks the site. The fire was filmed by an amateur film-maker and is one of the few movies recording the events of Kristallnacht. Today’s Bielefeld synagogue, Beit Tikwa, was opened in 2008.
Düsseldorf – The City of Heine
Düsseldorf was birthplace of one of Germany greatest poets, the Jewish Heinrich Heine. Today, you can hardly walk a block in the city without seeing something named for Heine, from streets to pubs to monuments to its university.
Born in Düsseldorf in 1797, Heine was greatly influenced by the Napoleonic occupation that emancipated the Jews overnight.
Munich – Bavaria’s Rich in Jewish History Capital
The Jewish Community Center is the heart of 21st-century Jewish Munich. At St. Jakobs Platz, it houses the Main Ohel Jakob Synagogue, Restaurant Einstein, the Munich Jewish Museum and several Jewish organizations.
A few steps from Munich’s central Marienplatz a stone Menorah Monument marks where the city’s main synagogue stood until Kristallnacht. Nearby, in the courtyard at Lenbachplatz, is Joseph Henselmann’s Fountain Statue of Moses in the Desert. In Milbertshofen a new Holocaust Memorial has been dedicated at the wartime deportation site for Munich’s Jews. Cohen’s and Schmock are lively Jewish-Israeli restaurants.
Explore the extensive list of places to visit in Germany for the Jewish traveler on Germany.travel.