The Schuettes of Cologne - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ulrich Charpa Cologne/London
    • 08.04.13 | 09:05 (IDT)

    Sven Schuette has characterized the opponents of his plans as antisemites. Indeed, the whole affair with the Cologne excavations has to do with antisemitism: If the Nazis had not murdered or expelled the German-Jewish academic elite, nobody would have ever given millions of funding to a Sven Schuette: someone whose general academic record is more than poor compared to the financial support of the project and whose expertise in Jewish history is zero – to someone whose masterpiece as excavator hitherto is to declare the apsis of the Roman praetorium a synagogue. The whole thing is a typical Cologne comedy about giving posts, about money, about false ambitions, about misleading the public opinion and probably some construction companies. The historical report is: Due to the fact that the Jews were banned from Cologne about more than four and a half centuries and that the town was one of the most damaged cities during World War II, the idea of a Cologne Jewish museum is not self-justifying. The only really outstanding sources of Jewish life are archival documents, among them the oldest dated Yiddish text and letters from Bodenheimer to Herzl. Why not focus on these materials instead of presenting the more or less unspecific bricks Schuette calls "Jewish structure"? The answer is as simple as it is shattering. All this has been destroyed or at least seriously damaged by the collapse of the Cologne historical archive building in 2009. This collapse was the result of the unprofessional construction of a new and totally uneconomic subway line – a project promoted by the same influential political-economic circles that are now backing Schuette’s project of a new museum.

    from the article: Archeological dig in Cologne unearths ancient Jewish history - and exposes layers of prejudice
    First published 09:45 06.04.13 | Last updated 09:45 06.04.13
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