|Some Personal Notes: |
A Jewish Second Generation Life in Post-Holocaust Europe
I was born in London in 1947 as the son of German and Czech Jewish refugees and grew up as an absolutely 'British' boy, without any knowledge of our German-Jewish background and without knowing that a large number of the family had been murdered by the Nazis. (A non-topic with my parents.)
When my parents returned to West Germany in 1961, I had no choice but to follow. I spent the first years in Germany in a self-determined isolation, i.e. only mixing with English speaking foreigners, as the post-war years in Britain had made me, like the rest of my generation, absolutely anti-German.
Having completed schooling in 1965 I went to Cologne University (Faculty of Economics) while waiting to get a place at a university in Britain and thus finally return home to Britain.
On June 2nd 1967, during a demonstration against the state visit of the Shah of Persia to West Berlin, a young student was killed by a police bullet. The student movement began, and changed the course of my life and my further development:
- It opened my eyes to German reality and made me realise that young Germans were a lot different to my preconceived notion.
- I was impressed by the way the students queried their parents' behaviour during the Third Reich.
- I was not only an active member of the students' movement, the events also led me to begin to accept my other identities: German and Jewish.
German, because having lived in Germany for 6 decisive years during puberty, I had been formed by the country, like it or not. Jewish as a result of recognising the family's history. The Six-Day-War in 1967, also more or less forced me to define my position towards Israel. Yet it took from 1967 through till 1991, when I joined the Berlin Jewish Community, to find my way back to my Jewish roots and to accept my Jewish identity.
With the end of the Iron Curtain in 1990, I was able to get to family documents in eastern Europe that helped me uncover the entire family history back to Galicia and Moravia in the 18th centuries and through this I became strongly involved in giving talks and organising seminars on the history of anti-Semitism, the basics of Jewish religion and present day Jewish life in Germany for a non-Jewish audience.
- In 1995 I contributed to the competition for a National Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
- In 1998 I converted a bus-stop shelter on Kurfürstenstraße in Berlin-Schöneberg into a permanent reminder of the site of Adolf Eichmann's 'Jewish Department' (Judenreferat).
- In 1999 I took part in an exhibition of Jewish artists in Berlin with 10 photomontages that confronted Nazi-Propaganda with the murdered members of my family. This exhibition also included my installation: Jewish-Gentile Basketball.
I'm still not religious in the context of religious rituals or the question, whether or not the Messiah has arrived. But living in the country where 15 members of my family had been murdered, made me feel a personal commitment towards them, to actively work against anti-Semitism by furthering knowledge about Jewish history, Jewish religion and the day-to-day life of Jews in Germany today. Since 1997, I've been a member of the cultural committee of the Berlin Jewish Community. Further information about my Jewish approach can be found in an interview I gave GOLEM Magazine.
Berlin has become my home but not my Heimat. I always say I have four identities:
I'm British in my basic personality structure. I'm German in my intellect. I'm Jewish in a cultural and emotional context and I'm European out of conviction for a future United States of Europe
Click here for further information on my lecture, seminar and tour work on Jewish topics in Berlin.
|1947: Born in London as son of Berlin and Czech Jewish refugees |
1960: Move from London to Cologne, West Germany
1970: Move from Cologne to (West-) Berlin
1991: Membership of the Jewish Community of Berlin
1997: Member of the Cultural Committee of the Jewish Community
1995: Entry to the competition for a National Holocaust Memorial in 1995
1995: Marriage, 2 Children
1998: Just Stop! - The bus shelter project dealing with Adolf Eichmann's 'Judenreferat' in the Kurfürstenstraße 115/116 in Berlin-Schöneberg
1999 The Little Diary - Ten photomontages
1999 Jewish and Gentile Basketball - An installation
2000 Synagoga and Synagogue (and their Protectors) - a Photomontage
|The Goldlust Family Genealogy: click here.|
|How to contact me: |
telephone: +49-(0)30-321 76 86
mobile: +49-(0)177-321 76 86
fax: +49-(0)30-325 76 52