Anti German Feelings

Question

hello, I have had an experience about a year ago that to this day I have found myself unable to adequately move on from. First of, I am a twenty-eight year old german. I have lived in the United States for roughly six years and this particular incident happened at a party in Santa Monica, California. I was with a group of friends when we were introduced to a girl roughly our age with whom we had quite a pleasant conversation with until she remarked I had a slight accent she couldn’t quite place. I told her I was german, to which she responded ‘oh, I hate germans, I am jewish’, turned around and walked away. now I know why she felt this way and I think she has every right to, yet I felt angered by personally being blamed for something I obviously had nothing to do with (being 28 means I was born in 1977). again, this incident has not let me go ever since. I am not sure whether it was me who simply missed something or her who was unjust in treating me this way. I would like to hear your opinion on this matter. thank you, chris.

15 years

Answers

  1. There are no simple answers to your question. It is true that the German nation has for decades been attempting to atone for the past, and your generation (and the one before it) are completely removed from the original actions of the Nazis. Nevertheless, for many Jews the collective trauma of the Holocaust is impossible to overcome.

    It is also impossible to gauge the reaction of individual Jews towards the German People for the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust era. Every Jew has been scarred in one way or another and every family has relatives who experienced personally the deportations, camps, bestial barbarity and murder. Does that excuse the behavior of the girl that you met? The answer has to be no, it does not. But it does help to explain it.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team