Monday, September 13, 2010

Young Israelis are moving to Berlin in droves

Over the past several years, a large number of young Israeli citizens are making the move to Germany, Berlin to be precise. This is startling because Berlin, once perceived as a center of the holocaust (more specifically Adolf Hitler’s systematic genocide of over 6 million Jews) is now considered a "free and tolerant community" with an "anything goes" mentality. For decades, Israeli's have dealt with a structured and militant lifestyle as a result of the many conflicts of the region but now younger Israelis who are certainly cognizant of the fact gruesome history of Berlin, have simply put the past behind them in a move for tranquility, peace and affordability of the German flagship city.

However, not all Israelis feel the same way and there are plenty of Berlin Jews who have a strong sense of history culture that have decided to acknowledge the past and move forward in the present. Some Israeli's even find it liberating and have even become more culturally aware of who they are as not everyone in the community is the same race, religion, etc.

This article is fascinating, not only for the fact so many Jews are choosing to leave Israel, but that they have chosen a city(Berlin) that for the longest time symbolized the massacre of their people. I find it particularly interesting that Israelis feel trapped in Israel, and that the land they are fighting so much for does not appeal to them as much as the freedom, tranquility and of course affordability of the German city. This article was obviously written from a human interest perspective and in my opinion makes a good argument both for and against Israelis living in Berlin. On one hand, it is easy to see why West Germany is so appealing(the cost factor, young people and access to more cultures, less threat of terrorism and animosity amongst neighbors) but at the same time, a city with such a dark history should always be remembered as such.

Although the article is ultimately positive about the shift of Israelis to Berlin, it definitely does not ignore the Nazi era and points out the uncomfortable conversation that is yet to be had with the Germans living in Berlin.

This is a very interesting article by the Associated Press, featured in the Jerusalem Post. It can be found here.

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