, a leading German Jewish intellectual, argued that it would be better to cut off the Gemeinde's
government subsidy and force a complete makeover from the bottom up.
"The state gives the Gemeinde
too much money," Schoeps
said during an interview at his
office in Potsdam
"After 1945, German politicians needed Jews here as a sign that the new Germany is a democracy.
Therefore they gave money, money, money."
has friends in the Berlin Senate
who describe the situation at the Gemeinde
said, they will not cut the subsidy, because such action would be seen as anti-Semitic.
"I left the community because of people like Joffe," said Schoeps, who is the director of the Moses-Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies and professor emeritus of German-Jewish history at Potsdam University.
described a staggering cultural cleavage between the community's Russian majority and the smattering of remaining German and Polish Jews.
They have different memories, different histories, different traditions, he
Jews raised in the Soviet Union were accustomed to a pervasive government presence that smothered personal initiative.
They had no background in civic democracy and were accustomed to a culture in which people often used unsavory means to circumvent the system.
"It was the antithesis of the competitive German society," said Schoeps