Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2009

Capstone Advisor

Phillip Arnold

Honors Reader

Zach Braiterman

Capstone Major

Religion

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

yes

Honors Categories

Humanities

Subject Categories

Other Religion | Religion

Abstract

In this paper, I take a close look at the present condition of the Jewish Community in Berlin. Being a community that, within the last century, has faced the devastation of the Holocaust and the subjugation of the Berlin Wall and accompanying Soviet regime, the Jewish community in Berlin represented, to me, one with an amazing challenge and opportunity to rebuild itself. The aim of this paper was to separate the Jewish community from other communities in Berlin, separate the presence of the Berlin Wall from other historical events, and then consider the possibility that the Wall itself has an inherent religious meaning and that the Jewish community was effected independently and uniquely by that meaning.

In order to fully grasp the condition of the Jewish community in Berlin today, as well as to understand the Wall’s role in Berlin society, traveling to the city of Berlin was a necessary component of this study. The observations, insights and information that trip allowed fuel the theories and the arguments made throughout this paper. Ultimately it has become clear that, while the Wall may not itself be inherently religious, it did in fact have implications for Berlin citizens that affected their religious experience. Furthermore, while the Wall’s effects may not have been exclusively to Jewish Berliners, being a Jew in Berlin at the time of the Wall’s presence and fall did in fact lead to isolation from the rest of Berlin society. Additionally, and most noteworthy, is the shared work that both Jewish and non-Jewish Berliners have done since the Wall’s fall to commemorate their history and acknowledge all that Berliners, as a shared community, have overcome.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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