Boxed-in In Germany
04/09/13
Staff Writer
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In contemporary Germany, where some 200,000 Jews live amid 82 million Germans, there is little chance for most Germans to meet a Jew.

Unless they go to the Jewish Museum in Berlin these days.

There, as part of a current — and controversial — exhibition titled “The Whole Truth … Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Jews …” a Jew sits in a glass enclosure two hours a day answering visitors’ questions.

It’s commonly known as “Jew in a Box,” and it’s become a popular part of the exhibition, albeit a contested part.

Visitors ask all sorts of questions about Jewish life and Jewish customs.

“A lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” museum spokeswoman Tina Luedecke told Fox News. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity to know more about Jews and Jewish life.”

Many Jews living in Germany report that they feel like curiosity pieces, called upon to answer the questions of new, non-Jewish acquaintances.

Bill Glucroft, below, an American Jew who has lived in Germany 2½ years, takes his regular turn in the box. One visitor asked him, “Can you stop being a Jew?”

“It’s not like we have a central authority figure like a pope to answer to,” he answered. Then he added, “But we do have to answer to our mothers.”

The German words at the base of the box asks, “Are there still Jews in Germany?”

Last Update:

04/16/2013 - 03:27

Comments

The idea of providing German citizens current information about its Jewish population is right, the way of doing it is wrong, so wrong. What Germans know about Jews is what they learned from the Nazi treatment of Jews. They were less than human, and like vermin, should be exterminated. Putting a Jew on display in a box promotes the Nazi view that Jews are a curiousity, to be stared at like monkeys in a cage. The observers may hear the answers, but the visual image of a "Jew in a Box" is detrimental to any efforts to show that Jews are proud, valuable members of German society. Although Germans may not be aware of the Jewish population in their midst, they receive a lot of information about how corrupt, viscous and evil they are from anti-Semitic world wide. Placing Jews on display is further confirmation that Jews are not equal members of society.
What was the Jewish community of Germany thinking?

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