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Thread: Grandson of Holocaust victims represents Germany

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Grandson of Holocaust victims represents Germany

    Evan Kaufmann, a forward in the DEL with the Dusseldorf based DEG Metro Stars, is a dual American & German citizen.

    He lost many family members in the Holocaust, though his grandfather survived Auschwitz and eventually emigrated to the USA.

    Kaufmann and his wife moved to Germany in 2003 and took German citizenship, and this month (February 2012) Kaufmann became the first Jew to represent Germany in hockey (or at least since since World War II, anyway) when he suited up in a tournament in Belarus.

    Here are two really interesting articles telling his story, which are well worth reading.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1ltPpW2Yd

    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/Jew...aspx?id=257392

  2. #2
    IHF Member ElQuapo's Avatar
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    Nice story - thanks for sharing :-)

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Marc, thanks for the link to the articles. As my parents are Holocaust survivors, who were able to flee Europe in time, I found the story very interesting and clsoe to home. Evan sounds like a great guy who has come to terms with any conflict he might have felt.

  4. #4
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I found it to be a very compelling story.

    I do understand why some people criticize him for wanting German citizenship, and wanting to proudly represent the German nation, considering the obvious past history and the fact that his own family was decimated by the Nazis.

    On the other hand, I think it is more a feel good story than a sad story on a number of levels.

    For a start, Hitler would be deeply disappointed to know that today's Germany has a small but thriving Jewish community. He would likewise be deeply disappointed to know that a Jew was selected to represent Germany in international competition. Those things are satisfying, and are a victory over intolerance and specifically over Nazism.

    More importantly, Kaufmann (rightfully so, in my view) does not hold any German born after 1945 accountable in any way for the Holocaust. The reality is that today's Germany has learned from and acknowledged its past, has made reparations for decades, and has been a staunch friend of Israel. His story shows that Jews can (and should) consider today's Germany as completely opposite the Nazi Germany of the 1930's and 1940's. It likewise shows that today's Germany is willing to consider Germans of Jewish faith as........Germans. It shows that German Jews can consider themselves as Germans again.

    Is there some anti-Semitism in Germany today? Of course. Are there some people in Germany unwilling to condemn their elderly relatives who were war criminals? Of course.

    However, Germany today is perhaps one of the few places in Europe that has strong laws in place to protect its Jewish minority, and which openly welcomes them.

    Incidentally, the reason my last name is so rare is that the large majority of my father's side of the family was murdered in the Holocaust (they were actually Austrian & German), although none of my grandparents on either side were lost to it.

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    Hello you all!

    I don't have at least known jewish relatives, but this thread did catch my eye anyway.

    However, I wanted to say, that already before the second world war the fate pointed its finger - so to say - to the nazis;

    Team Germany had to ask Rudi Ball to play for them in 1936.

    Yes, Marc, it seems to be, that the Germans have learnt their lesson.

    All the best
    Jukka

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