In this documentary on ARD, Daniel Cohn-Bendit explores his relationship to Judaism.
At the beginning of his search for his own Jewish identity, Daniel Cohn-Bendit moves through the French city of Moissac with his brother Gaby in the ARD documentary “We are all German Jews”. Here Gaby, the older of the two brothers, was hidden by his parents with a French family during the German occupation. The former Green politician Cohn-Bendit, born in 1945, was spared this fate due to the late birth and perhaps this is the reason for the discrepancy in the views of the two brothers.
Gaby, who had to pretend to the German soldiers in his earliest childhood in order not to be recognized as a Jew and so inevitably got to know a game with his own identity, defends himself against fixed attributions. Like political currents to which one had once belonged and from which one should also understand one’s own being Jewish. Daniel Cohn-Bendit contradicts this idea of complete self-determination of identity and sets out to find out how he relates to Judaism.
“We are all German Jews” (ARD): A personal report
The film by Niko Apel takes the form of a personal report that follows Cohn-Bendit on his journey. This leads him first into his own past. In 1968, Cohn-Bendit, whose family had fled Germany to France during National Socialism, was expelled by the French authorities in the wake of student protests. Thousands of people in Paris then showed solidarity with him with the slogan “We are all German Jews”, even if Cohn-Bendit said he had not defined himself as a Jew.
When meeting the singer, who is his friend, Talila, however, it becomes clear that your own memories can sometimes lead you astray, because your friend still has the young student in mind, who was very aware of being Jewish. In conversations like these, the film shows Cohn-Bendit as a curious and empathetic interviewer who not only seeks to fathom his own relationship to Judaism, but also shows a genuine interest in the often contradicting points of view of his interlocutors.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit will be personally guest on October 29th at 7 p.m. at a panel discussion by FR and Karl-Gerold-Stiftung. Topic: “After the election: where is the country heading?” Richard Meng discusses this question in the Haus am Dom with the author as well as Janine Wissler, Chairwoman of the Left, and Nancy Faeser, Hessian SPD and parliamentary group chairman in the state parliament.
The event is free of charge. As places are limited, early registration is required at fr.de/anmeldung (keyword “Wahl”). The discussion will be broadcast live on the Internet at fr.de/eventvideo. fr
“We are all German Jews” (ARD): Provocative but factual
During the subsequent trip to Israel, this is particularly evident in the conversations that revolve around settlement policy and the Orthodox faith, which Cohn-Bendit is critical of. As a sometimes provocative, but always objective questioner, Cohn-Bendit tries to collect various positions on politics and life in Israel, thus creating a panorama of this society.
Impressive scenes emerge, like the one when visiting a kibbutz, which emerged as a socialist utopia of a better state. The resident who speaks to Cohn-Bendit here refuses to talk about settlement policy and the cause of the Palestinians so stubbornly that the moment seems almost comedic. The conversation with a former admiral and head of the Israeli secret service Shin Bet, who says of the establishment of the state: “We won this war, is very different. We won a great victory, but someone forgot to tell us ”and in this sense questioned the progressive expansion of the state borders to the east.
To the broadcast
“We are all German Jews”, 77:23 minutes. Available on Monday, October 11th, 2021 at 11:35 p.m. on ARD or in the media library.
Against the background of the dispute between Max Czollek and Maxim Biller in the German feuilletons about the question of whether people should also be recognized as Jews who do not have a Jewish mother, the encounter with the head of a fashion magazine for religious women is also interesting. who attacks Cohn-Bendit sharply because he married a non-Jewish woman and because of that his son is not a Jew.
“We are all German Jews” (ARD): People can determine their own identity
Like Talila, the singer whose Yiddish songs she associates with her own family history, Cohn-Bendit also remains connected to the European Judaism of her own family and, with a view to Israel, realizes that his expectations of this country were too high. With his thoughts on the fact that the Jews as victims of the terrible crime do not automatically become better people and his plea that people can ultimately determine their own identity after all, Cohn-Bendit finally finds a contentious position that goes against the current zeitgeist .
Above all, however, he shows himself to be a seeker who fulfills what is repeatedly described in the film as a central feature of Jewish identity: the absolute will to get to the bottom of things, which means waking up in the morning with a question and in the evening with one another to go to bed. Shown on Monday (October 11th, 2021) in the night program of ARD, this film will also release viewers to bed with a multitude of questions (.Jendrik Walendy)