Traveling across Germany and seeking out that elusive quality that is the German character, playwright and journalist Tuvia Tenenbom wonders whether he has identified it in any one of several striking social phenomena—the proclivity of Germans to join clubs and group activities; how their aptitude for visual design shapes their architecture and their daily life; how their daily life is suffused with soccer and beer, the omnipresent beverage for all occasions; how they proudly self-define themselves by their achievements in precision technology; and, what is most disturbing to this son of Holocaust survivors, how their crushing awareness of their dark history coexists with virulent anti-Semitism and a stubborn obsession with Israel.
Tenenbom integrates deep seriousness with the most lighthearted comic touch in this critical but affectionate look at both left and right in contemporary German politics and society. Listen in on his meetings with leaders in German industry and media, including former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, as well as with scores of private citizens whose everyday conversation Tenenbom ponders even as he gently teases them.
I read Tuvia's book, "Catch the Jew," before I read this one. "Catch" described a form of anti-Semitism that is far more simple and overt (and so, presumably, more susceptible to correction [treatment?]) than that discussed in the current book. I don't worry much about anti-Semitism in the Middle East: the Arab/Muslim people there are emotional primitives; they will never get their act together sufficiently to overcome their inter-tribal animosities (with the possible exception of Iran) and become a true existential threat to Israel. But Germany? If Tenenbom is right, and German anti-Semitism is a complex product of their national culture, we may never be able to intervene and effect a clinical cure. Therefore, the threat will remain for We Jews forever. I am depressed.
must read book
to get real insight into today Germany and society and a brooder prospective about euro culture in hilarious way, these book will make you smile and laugh while experience the grim reality of today Germany. just like we like it as a story that a friend telling as about his latest trip (very funny friend who is a great story taller :) ).
readers be advised
I Couldn't take it out of my hands!
Self indulgent twaddle
As a German I totally get the constant self examination of German history in German society. Yes, anti-semitism still exists. However the author describes a Germany that is very different than the one I know. The worst part of this book is that is just poorly written. It tries too hard to be shocking and provocative. A literary Borat. Any insight the book wishes to provide is lost by bad writing. It isn't the content. It's the presentation.