For more than one and a half millennia, the relationship between the Jewish Diaspora and Germany’s majority population vacillated between quiet coexistence and religiously motivated persecution, between the Jews’ status as social outcasts and their slow assimilation into mainstream society.Before 1933, there were more than 600,000 Jews in Germany.However, the Communist regime of the former (German Democratic Republic) frowned upon religion in Germany’s eastern parts until the reunification in 1990. Both the Greek-Orthodox and the Russian-Orthodox religion in Germany became established here with the Greek and Serbian immigrant population in the 1960s and 1970s.
But – and this is an irony of history – it actually went the other way round: Beckenbauer’s dictum soon turned out to be bunk on the football pitch, whereas German pop, rock and dance music burgeoned after reunification – not only commercially, but also artistically.
Germany’s reunification opened up not only a bigger market for West German musicians, who had not been allowed to concertize or sell records in East Germany.
During the following twelve years, the viciously anti-Semitic Nazi regime killed most of those who didn’t emigrate.
Today, more than 65 years after the end of World War Two, the Jewish community in Germany counts over 100,000 members.
As one may expect from a country with 1300 years of Christian tradition, Christianity is still the predominant religion in Germany.
Although the number of practicing Christians is on the decline, the Christian religion in Germany is present in the country’s cultural heritage.
In direct comparison with Judaism, Islam is a far more recent religion in Germany.
It goes back to the post-World War Two immigration of so-called (foreign workers) and refugees.
Other strands of Christian religion in Germany are the so-called Free Evangelical Churches, a loose union of congregations adhering to Baptism, Methodism and related faiths such as the Mennonites, as well as the two Orthodox churches. The atrocities of the Holocaust are overshadowing the history of Judaism in Germany.
According to sources from late Antiquity, Jews have been living in Germany since 321 AD.