Between reality and fantasy, the Jewish general

According to experts and representatives of Jews, Jewish life is often presented in a distorted and vulgar way in the German media. The list of errors and clichés is long, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said Thursday at the “Changing the Media Image: German Jews” event in Berlin.

They range from “nineteenth century Jews perceive” to “images of mosques as supposed synagogues”. Schuster emphasized that the reason, as a rule, was not malicious intent, but mostly ignorance.

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“We frequently encounter anti-Semitic clichés in writing and images when we open a daily newspaper or occasionally watch a television report – often with reports on Israel, but also in reports about Jewish life and the Jewish people in Germany today.”

Schuster emphasized that the problem is not just what is sometimes said, but what is often not said. The diversity of Jewish life often remains hidden from the German majority community. When people talk about Jews in Germany, it is often associated with National Socialism and the Holocaust.

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He is deeply concerned about social media, “where anti-Semitic conspiracy and defamatory myths have become especially loud since the coronavirus pandemic.” Lack of knowledge about a certain group of people, especially about a minority, often leads to prejudice. This phenomenon runs like a red thread through German-Jewish history.

Schuster also confirmed that the public media is using new forms this year to commemorate 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany. He called on the public media to remain visible and to consider that Jewish diversity must continue to exist even after a year of celebrations.

Material ARD President and WDR Director Tom Buhrow acknowledged that there is a risk of falling into clichés, particularly in current reports. The reason, among other things, is time pressure, which means that you have to refer to existing and readily available materials that contain visual language that is easily recognizable to the audience. However, this problem has been identified and attempts are being made to expand the databases so that more image material is available.

With dummy formats, Bohreau said, there is one already much further. Among other things, he referred to ARDCrime scene From Berlin with Jewish Commissioner Nina Rubin, played by Merritt Becker. Daily “completely normal” Jewish life is full of excitement.

ARD President and WDR Director Tom Bohreau admitted reporting errors.

An example of a new and successful non-fiction format: WDR ran several episodes of the late-night Jewish show “Friday Night Jews” with moderator Daniel Donskoy, who recently won the German Television Award.

Basically, Bohru wished for a more relaxed approach to the subject after the days of celebration. Here, ARD, through its regional location, has an opportunity to make the diversity of everyday life appear more normal in the community.

At the start of the day’s topic, “Traditional media have an important social responsibility for how to understand Jewish life,” said Secretary of State for Culture Monika Grotters (CDU) in her welcome address. A major function.

The aim of this day is to “make the normality and diversity of Jewish life in Germany more visible and normal today. And that is why terrible incidents are not always reported exclusively.”

culture The initiative for cultural integration came two days before the second anniversary of the attack on the synagogue in Halle. The initiative deals with the question of what a culture of contribution to integration can offer.

It was established in December 2016 on the proposal of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Information, the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, the Federal Ministry of Labour, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the German Cultural Council. epd / dpa

Read a detailed report on the conference in our next print edition.

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