German Town in Search of it's Jewish Twin


German Town in Search of it's Jewish Twin

German Town in Search of Its Jewish Twin
BERLIN—The crimes of the Nazi regime have left their shameful mark on many European sites. One of these places is the Bavarian district town of Dachau in the southern part of Germany, bordering the first concentration camp built by the Nazis in 1933.

The Dachau camp served as a prototype for the consequent concentration and extermination camps constructed under the Third Reich, in which millions of people were murdered. About one-fifth of the 200,000 prisoners sent to the Dachau concentration camp were eventually murdered.

The camp was populated by political prisoners, senior members of opposition parties, Reichstag ministers, artists, journalists, scholars, authors and composers—joined by thousands of Jews following Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass.)

Dachau was liberated by US forces a few days before the end of World War Two. Since then, the camp’s terrible past looms like a dark shadow over the nearby town which gave it its name.

But the town of Dachau with its 42,000 residents has been trying for some time now to improve its image around the world and clear its name to no longer be synonymous with the Nazi atrocities.

Dachau Mayor Peter Burgel has now come up with a new idea; Burgel, a member of the conservative Christian Social Party, is asking to promote the public relations of his town by twin-towning it with a town or city in Israel.

In order to execute his idea, Burgel has already begun networking with Israeli officials and even visited Israel the week of June 29, accompanied by the director of memorial sites in the Bavaria district, who is in charge of the Dachau Memorial Site.

One of the only cities in the world that has agreed so far to town-twinning with Dachau is Klagenfurt, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria, ruled by right-wing Austrian extremism member Jorg Haider. With such prospects at hand, Dachau’s chances of clearing its reputation and finding its Israeli twin are questionable.

(By Eldad Beck,, July 7, 2008),7340,L-3564827,00.html

Prayer Focus
Pray that the citizens of Dachau achieve their goal of “putting their past behind them.” Pray that they will find a relationship in Israel to bring healing to all who suffered through the painful atrocities.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).