Holocaust, memory, migration: the Burden of Catastrophe among Israelis in Germany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


 A major goal of the Zionist project is the immigration of Jews to Israel (Herzl, 1896; Israel’s Proclamation of Independence, 1948). During the first 70 years of statehood, slightly more than 3 million Jews fulfilled this mission (ICBS, Statistical Abstract, 2019), approximately one-third of diaspora Jewry (DellaPergola, 2018). Large waves of new arrivals made immigration an important, and in some years a paramount, determinant of Jewish population growth in the country. The significance of immigration to Israel, however, should be taken with a grain of salt: only a small proportion of the immigrants, less than 10%, originated in advanced industrial societies; most arrived from distressed Jewish communities—Holocaust survivors and Jews from Muslim countries in Asia and northern Africa and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) (ICBS, Statistical Abstract, 2019). Although they had some religious and/or national orientation, their emigration to Israel was motivated mainly by push factors—discrimination, oppression, and deteriorating personal security—rather than pull factors. This is evident, among other things, in their migration patterns, which drained into short spans of time. Moreover, many of them came from their communities’ lower socioeconomic strata, whereas members of the educated urban classes postponed their departures or moved elsewhere, as in the case of Moroccan Jewry (Shapira, 2012). Jewish emigration from South Africa since the transition from apartheid to black majority rule in 1994 also suggests that most choose to settle in Australia, the United States, Canada, or the UK, with Israel sometimes as a last resort for those unable to overcome obstacles to entering English-speaking countries on short notice (Raijman, 2015).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIsrael and the Diaspora
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2022

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Collective memory
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Influence
  • Israel -- Emigration and immigration
  • Israel and the diaspora
  • Israelis -- Germany -- Social conditions
  • Jewish communities -- Germany -- Berlin
  • Jews -- Germany -- Identity
  • Social integration -- Germany


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