For Immediate Release
* Release intended for German media *
Contact: The Jewish Theater of New York +212.494.0050 • TheJTNY@aol.com • www.JewishTheater.org
*** UPDATE: Read Spiegel Online HERE ***
Time to End Covert Anti-Semitism in the Elite German Media
Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), one of Germany’s most powerful papers, is bullying our Artistic Director – “The Jew Tenenbom,” as they call him ("Jud Süss") – Tuvia Tenenbom.
In response, The Jewish Theater of New York makes public all communications between Tuvia and SZ.
In a seeming attempt to forestall the German publication of Tuvia Tenenbom’s I Sleep in Hitler’s Room: An American Jew Visits Germany, a book that exposes the alarming prevalence of anti-Semitism in today’s Germany, SZ resorts to slander, lies, false accusations, and even bullying, in its ugly smear campaign against Tuvia, his book, and in turn this Theater, the publisher of I Sleep in Hitler’s Room. In the process, and without shame, SZ also resorts to calling Jews "weirdos" -- for which we are thankful to the Jewish-German paper, Jüdische Allgemeine, for pointing this out and crowning it: "Quote of the Week."
I Sleep in Hitler’s Room, based on Tuvia's months-long travel in Germany, documents the simmering – conscious and subconscious – anti-Semitism in much of German landscape. The book includes interviews with German luminaries, such as Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, top editors, artists, politicians, business and culture leaders, high school pupils and university students, born-again's and heroin addicts, professors and criminals, and many in-betweens.
In no way does this book attempt to point a finger at Germany or German citizens and single them out of all nations; the reality might be that similar results would be found in other countries. What the book does – in addition to its being splendidly funny and humorous, despite the heavy issues it covers and uncovers – is reflecting a mirror to a society and calling THEM to action, to cure THEIR nation of the cancer within.
The initial publication of the book in Germany was censored, after the top person at the major German publishing company of Rowohlt, Mr. Alexander Fest, overruled his own editor who warmly embraced the book, and vehemently objected to many details therein. Those included the exposure of neo-Nazi clubs, such as Club 88 (88=HH=Heil Hitler), or to interviews where people uttered statements such as, “The Israelis are Nazis.” This was not enough. Verbal abuse was a staple in his dealings with Tuvia, as he and his cadre of underlings seemed to cherish every opportunity to get ugly and, at times, descend to anti-Semitism. At one point Tuvia was told that he was a “Jewish hysteric,” like the “patron saint of all of them, Woody Allen.”
"Them" being the Jews. And they are all “hysteric.” (Details of this story are in the Preface to I Sleep in Hitler's Room.)
SZ, for its part, finds nothing wrong with such a comment and description (see in body of emails, links provided below).
After the book’s censorship by Rowohlt, The Jewish Theater of New York went on to publish the book, winning glorified reviews (samples HERE). A theatrical version of the book was staged in NY this year, visited by German politicians and intellectuals who eagerly participated in a lively Q&A follow-up, and a full-scale production is scheduled for early next year.
In the meantime another German publisher, Suhrkamp, signed on to the project. But as of date, we do not know when exactly this book will actually be published in Germany.
The article in SZ seems tailored to instill doubt in the book’s findings and its assertions, and in Tuvia as well. In this assassination of character, SZ resorts to selective quoting, enumerating inaccurate facts, advertising fallacies, and slandering the book before it can reach German bookstores – which is obviously much worse than the mere book burnings in Germany of last century.
Tuvia tried to reach out to SZ, requesting that he be given the opportunity to respond to his accuser. Following back-and-forth emails, SZ is now hiding behind lawyers, refusing to allow Tuvia to respond. And it does not end here: they also try to arm-twist Tuvia into not making public his attempt to clear his name in the only way now possible: Make all communications public.
In response to this assault, the JTNY is making said communications public, without any edit. We apologize for some typos, as at times it occurs in email correspondences, and for deleting the private email address/telephone number of the article’s author.
We certainly hope that, as befits a democracy, you will share the info linked below with your German readers.
By making this public, we undoubtedly take the risk that some journalists will kowtow to the ‘big guys’ of SZ. Yet we strongly believe that there exist in Germany many honest and decent journalists, who care deeply about their country and about truth, and we hope that this Release reaches them.
The Jewish Theater of New York will be glad to answer any question from the German media.
Please call +212.494.0050 or write TheJTNY@aol.com
In the link provided below you will find the emails, in chronological order, between Tuvia Tenenbom, Artistic Director, The Jewish Theater of New York, and Andrian Kreye, Feuilletonchef, Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The communications between Tuvia and Malte Herwig, the author of said article, follows.
SZ original article (in German) can be found at end of file.
This Release is intended for the German media.
LINK to docs, or download PDF version.
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