Jewish leaders welcome German patriotism

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2006, BERLIN - Leaders of the World Jewish Congress and Germany's Jewish community on Wednesday said they welcomed the outpouring of German patriotism seen during the football World Cup.

28 June 2006

BERLIN - Leaders of the World Jewish Congress and Germany's Jewish community on Wednesday said they welcomed the outpouring of German patriotism seen during the football World Cup.

"I think this is a natural phenomenon. I think it's a very healthy thing," said Rabbi Israel Singer, chairman of the Policy Council of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Charlotte Knobloch, the recently elected head of Germany's Central Council of Jews agreed, adding that she could not understand why the authorities had banned police from flying the black, red, gold German national flag on their cars.

Germans have been covering their cars in the national colours and hanging the German flag in front of their homes or from apartment windows in numbers never seen before in the post-1945 era.

Up until now, the German national flag has mainly been reserved for official uses. Hesitation to fly it privately seemingly stemmed from lingering unease over abuses during the Nazi era.

But both Knobloch and Singer, who spoke partly in German during his press conference, seemed unperturbed - even with a car parked in front their hotel venue decked out with over 20 flapping German flags.

Both leaders took part in a World Jewish Congress meeting in the German capital.

Singer hailed the German Jewish community as being "the fastest growing Jewish community in the world."

The number of German Jews has risen from about 30,000 in 1989 to about 110,000 today thanks to immigration from the former Soviet Union.

Under a regulation approved by former German chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1990, Jews from the former USSR are allowed to settle in Germany.

Prior to the Holocaust about 600,000 Jews lived in Germany

DPA

Subject: German news

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