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INTRODUCING 'SHOAH' TO EAST GERMANS
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Cooper, Belinda
Date: Dec 24, 1990
Start Page: 08
Section: ARTS
Abstract (Document Summary)

The film festival included a panel discussion on Jews in Germany and four films chosen as introductions to various aspects of Jewish life: Shoah, shown in two parts, Barbara Streisand's Yentl, Aviya's Summer by Eli Cohen and In My Parent's Country, by Jeanine Meerapfel.

In pre-revolution East Germany, Jewish culture and questions about German responsibility for the past were officially taboo. [Ron Prosor] summed it up: "East Germany never faced its past; the discussion that has been going on in West Germany for 40 years didn't exist here." Restrictions from above never entirely eradicated interest in Jews in Dresden before last autumn's changes; in fact, to some extent they had the opposite effect.

THE 50TH anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1988 seemed to mark a change in the attitude of the East German government; suddenly it was acceptable to talk about the Jews' experiences in Germany. The Encounters with Judaism group put together an exhibit entitled "Life and Suffering of the Jews in Saxony" that dealt in depth with Jewish history and even mentioned Stalinist antisemitism.

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