German Nonprofit Teaches Jewish Tolerance to Muslim Refugees

R.future-TV aims to help refugees understand the history of the Holocaust.

August 11, 2017 11:30 am
he entrance tower of the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen.
The entrance tower of the former concentration camp Sachsenhausen is pictured on April 13, 2010 in Oranienburg, Germany. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

A nonprofit organization called R.future-TV is working with Muslim refugees in Germany to help them develop tolerance for Jewish people, according to the Washington Post.

“A lot of Muslim refugees grew up in countries where hatred of Jews and of Israel is normal,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Post, adding that many know little about the Holocaust. “Some even admire Hitler.”

Mohammed Kareem, a refugee who was a police officer in Baghdad, echoed these sentiments.

“Everywhere — whether on the TV, from Imams or at school — we hear, ‘Jews are not good,’ and we don’t know any Jews to see them differently,” Kareem said. After fleeing to Germany in 2015, and working with Jews who volunteer at a church in Berlin, Kareem is asking himself: “‘Why does my country say Jews are not good?’ Their armies — that’s different.”

As part of their efforts, R.future-TV followed Kareem and another refugee, Osman Jamo, to the site of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, as part of a documentary on refugees’ understanding of the Holocaust. But while they acknowledged the violation of human rights that occurred in the camp, they rejected the notion that the Holocaust was unique in its horror, noting that it reminded them of the violence and suffering they’d seen in Syria and Iraq.

“If Germany paid reparations to Israel, then Americans should pay for what they did in Iraq,” Kareem said.

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