Wednesday, July 25, 2007

'Sweet revenge,' say new Germans

Haaretz : By Ofer Aderet

Holding her brand-new German passport, Avital Direktor, 29, of Azor, just had to laugh. 'What a crazy world,' she thought to herself. 'Germany's soil is drenched with my family's blood, and in spite of it all, I got German citizenship. I see it as taking revenge on Hitler. Sweet revenge.'

The past year has seen 4,300 Israelis receive German citizenship, according to data released this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The figure represents a 50 percent increase over the previous year....

Avital's grandparents are Holocaust survivors from Berlin and Stuttgart. When she asked them whether they objected to her applying for German citizenship, they asked whether she intended to go back to Germany to pick up where they "left off."

It took Avital three years to get her German citizenship. "It's a long and complex process that stems from the rigid Germanic character...

Avital said she is not surprised by the sharp rise in demand for German citizenship among Israelis. "Look at what's going on here. Ours is a land that devours its inhabitants. The obtuseness to the needy, the corruption. People are dying to get out of here."...

According to Avital, most of her friends supported her decision to apply for German citizenship. "They said they wished they could get a German passport, too, and asked me what I was still doing here in Israel."

But not all of Avital's friends jumped for joy. In her youth, she was a member of the right-wing Moledet party. ..."Some of my friends called me a traitor," she confessed.

My thinking about Jews in Germany has changed in recent years, particularly since my visit to Berlin to see the new Holocaust Memorial and the amazing Jewish Museum. I hope Jewish life and culture can be reestablished in Germany. I also believe Israelis, like all humans, should be free to follow their bliss, and to seek personal and professional fulfillment where they can find it.

So why is my heart breaking as I read this article in Haaretz?

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