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Image for New Jewish life in Berlin 18/11/2009

Play now 28 mins

New Jewish life in Berlin 18/11/2009

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 18 November 2009

20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more than 70 years since Nazi attacks on synagogues and Jewish shops heralded the coming Holocaust, Berlin once again boasts a 12,000-strong Jewish community.

But native German Jews are in the minority here.

Thousands of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union have given the community a new face, language, and lease of life.

We meet the rabbis who've dedicated their lives to drawing these new Berliners into the Jewish fold.

Other recent arrivals include young Israelis, among them composer Gilad Hochman, who lost part of his family in the Holocaust.

What drew him to the city where Hitler plotted the extermination of Europe's Jews?

Also in the programme, Evelyn Gutkind-Bienert, Germany's first stunt girl, who survived the Holocaust in hiding in Berlin; and Mimi Sheffer, who came to Berlin to conquer the operatic stage, but instead gave her voice to God.

  • Israeli composer Gilad Hochman at work in Berlin

    Israeli composer Gilad Hochman at work in Berlin

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