Comparative Studies in Society and History

Research Article

Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Germany and the Shoah

Marc David Baer 

History, University of California, Irvine


In this paper I critically examine the conflation of Turk with Muslim, explore the Turkish experience of Nazism, and examine Turkey's relation to the darkest era of German history. Whereas many assume that Turks in Germany cannot share in the Jewish past, and that for them the genocide of the Jews is merely a borrowed memory, I show how intertwined the history of Turkey and Germany, Turkish and German anti-Semitism, and Turks and Jews are. Bringing together the histories of individual Turkish citizens who were Jewish or Dönme (descendants of Jews) in Nazi Berlin with the history of Jews in Turkey, I argue the categories “Turkish” and “Jewish” were converging identities in the Third Reich. Untangling them was a matter of life and death. I compare the fates of three neighbors in Berlin: Isaak Behar, a Turkish Jew stripped of his citizenship by his own government and condemned to Auschwitz; Fazli Taylan, a Turkish citizen and Dönme, whom the Turkish government exerted great efforts to save; and Eric Auerbach, a German Jew granted refuge in Turkey. I ask what is at stake for Germany and Turkey in remembering the narrative of the very few German Jews saved by Turkey, but in forgetting the fates of the far more numerous Turkish Jews in Nazi-era Berlin. I conclude with a discussion of the political effects today of occluding Turkish Jewishness by failing to remember the relationship between the first Turkish migration to Germany and the Shoah.



  I was inspired to write this article after meeting Isaak Behar at the recently opened Sephardic synagogue in Berlin whose congregants are mainly Azeri Turks. I am indebted to the path-breaking research of Corry Guttstadt and Rıfat Bali and to their generosity in providing me with hard-to-find sources. I am grateful to Ulrike Freitag, director of the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, for being my supportive host in Germany. My perspective was shaped by conversations with Leslie Adelson, Chanfi Ahmed, Manfred Backhausen, Hatice Bayraktar, Wolfgang Benz, Y. Michal Bodemann, Katrin Bromber, Matti Bunzl, Dyala Hamzah, Kader Konuk, Heike Liebau, Gilad Margalit, Esra Özyürek, Damani Partridge, Jeffrey Peck, Michael Rothberg, Deborah Starr, Peter Wien, Yasemin Yildiz, Gökçe Yurdakul, and Benjamin Zachariah. I thank the director and staff of the Landesarchiv Berlin for providing an exemplary archival experience. Versions of this article were presented at the ZMO, Jewish Museum Berlin, and Cornell University. I thank the three anonymous CSSH reviewers and editor Andrew Shryock for their criticisms and suggestions. All translations in this article are my own.


Isaak Behar, a Turkish Jew in Nazi Berlin, was stripped of his citizenship by his own government. Turkish consular officials refused to repatriate him to Turkey as Germany desired, although they were fully aware of the grave consequences awaiting him and thousands of Turkish Jews in similar circumstances throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. Like the others, Behar was condemned to Auschwitz. When the Gestapo came to his apartment in Charlottenburg at the end of 1942 to seize him, Turkish officials did nothing to save him. The following spring, Nazi authorities targeted Fazli Taylan, another Turkish citizen and assumed Jew, whose business was located near the Behars' apartment. Although Turkish “experts” confirmed that Taylan was a member of the Jewish “race,” the Turkish government exerted tremendous effort to save him, the only instance where it used the full powers of its diplomatic offices to try and spare the life of a Turk taken for a Jew in Berlin. Why did Turkey attempt to rescue Taylan, but not Behar? At the same time, the Turkish government allowed select German Jews, including Isaak Behar's neighbor Eric Auerbach, temporary refuge in Turkey. Why would Turkey permit foreign Jews to immigrate, but deny its own the right? Both Germany and Turkey are invested in remembering the narrative of the very few German Jews such as Auerbach saved by Turkey, but in forgetting the fates of the far more numerous Turkish Jews in Nazi-era Berlin. What is at stake for these two countries in forgetting the fate of some Jews during the Shoah, but remembering others? What are the political effects today of occluding Turkish Jewishness by failing to remember the relationship between the first Turkish migration to Germany and the Shoah?

The first Turkish migration to Germany occurred long before World War II, and Jews made up a significant share of it. Foreigners and Ottoman Christians and Jews had predominated in the economy of the Ottoman Empire, but the Turkish republic, proclaimed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923, enacted policies that created a Muslim business class. Anti-Semitism in Turkey drove Jews to migrate in the following decade, and many went to Paris, Vienna, and Berlin.1 Half of the Jews fled (most of the rest would flee after Israel was established in 1948) because of the constant discrimination and occasional violence they faced in Turkey.2 In the 1920s, more than half of the Turks in Berlin were Judeo-Spanish-speaking Jews.3

Ottoman Jews had migrated to Berlin at least as early as 1891.4 A dozen established the Sephardic Jewish Association in 1905. Six years later, the Sephardic Jewish community opened the first Sephardic-rite synagogue in the city. By the end of the 1920s, the Berlin Sephardic association boasted around five hundred members.5 In 1933, Jews constituted 45 percent, or 753, of the 1,673 Turkish citizens in Germany, most of whom resided in Berlin.6

This era of Turkish Jewish immigration is relatively unknown. It has been overlooked in part since scholars have mainly attempted to understand how the massive migration of Turks to Germany since World War II has reshaped German society and culture. Most studies of Turks in today's Berlin are anthropological or sociological analyses of immigration and the integration of the Turkish guest workers who arrived in the 1960s and 1970s and their descendants.7 The best of these studies show how “German” Turks in Germany have become, arguing that “Germans and Turks in Germany share more culture (as an ongoing imaginative project) than is often presumed when one speaks of two discrete worlds encountering each other across a civilizational divide,” and that the literature of Turkish migration reflects “German guilt, shame, or resentment about the Nazi past.”8 Conversely, Turkish Germans have even been called Germany's “new Jews,” or “the Jews of today,” because of the hostility and discrimination they face in many quarters.9

The relation between Turks and Jews in Germany is still not fully understood. This is especially apparent when speaking of a commingling of “historical references generally not thought to belong together, including ‘Turkish migration and the Holocaust.’”10 Turkish migration and the Shoah can only be seen as unrelated, however, when one assumes that Turks cannot be Jews, and that there were no Turks in Germany during the Nazi era.

Bringing together the histories of individual Turkish citizens who were Jewish and Turks taken for Jews in Nazi Berlin with the history of Jews in Turkey shows how intertwined the history of Turkey and Germany, Turkish and German anti-Semitism, and Turks and Jews are. The categories “Turkish” and “Jewish” were not always accorded the meanings they hold today. Turkish and Jewish were converging identities in the Third Reich. Untangling them was a matter of life and death. Given that there were also many Turks among Germany's “old” Jews—that some Turks were the Jews of yesterday—it would seem to be something of a logical fallacy now to call German Turks the country's “new” Jews, or the Jews of today.

“The Turks are conquering Germany … through a higher birthrate,”11 declared Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the board of the Bundesbank, and a former finance minister of the state of Berlin, in 2009. It would better if Germany's conquerors were “East European Jews, who have a 15% higher I.Q. than Germans,” he said. Waxing nostalgic for prewar Berlin, Sarrazin (born in 1945) lamented that the city has never recovered from the loss of the Jewish elite in the arts and business: “We shall never be able to compensate for the immense blood-letting [of the Nazi era]. Thirty percent of all physicians and lawyers and eighty percent of all theater directors in Berlin in 1933 were Jewish. Most trade and banks were also in Jewish hands.… Sixty to seventy percent of the annihilation and displacement of Jews from German-speaking areas affected Berlin.” Moreover, Sarrazin counterposed criticism of Turks and Muslims in Berlin today—stereotyping them as undereducated, underemployed, non-German-speaking, and overly dependent on state aid—with nostalgia for a Jewish past, and finding them deficient in comparison.

Although Berlin is currently experiencing a Jewish renaissance—it now boasts one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, consisting predominantly of immigrants from the former Soviet Union12—for Sarrazin, as for many other Germans, Jews only count when they are German (and not Russian). Germany's Jews are thus ghosts of the past, instrumentalized to shame other groups in the present.13 Sarrazin's 2010 book articulating these views, Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany does away with itself), was a runaway bestseller.14

Ironically, some of the very people targeted by Sarrazin share his premise. Today, Germans whose families originated in Turkey also conflate Turk and Muslim, eliding any association between Turk and Jew, even when the people in question are Turkish Jews. Explaining, at the 2009 annual commemoration of Dachau's liberation, why a hundred Turks were murdered there, Mehmet Ali Yıldız, general secretary of the European Turkish Union, told readers of the European edition of Turkey's largest-circulation newspaper, Hürriyet: “Because Muslims are also circumcised, some Turks were mistaken for Jews, and were murdered for this reason.”15 Yıldız not only conflates Turks with Muslims here but elides any notion of there having been Jewish Turks. “Jews of Turkish origin” also attended the ceremony to commemorate the murder of these “Turkish citizens,” Hürriyet noted. The paper failed to tell its readers that as citizens of a neutral country during World War II, Turks whose citizenship was recognized by their consulates were not usually subject to Nazi persecution.

Neither Sarrazin nor Yıldız can imagine that Turks can be Jewish. They can only recognize Jews when they are Germans. Their perspective is common in both Germany and Turkey. Scholars assume that only an “imaginative project” can bring Turks and Jews together in the era of National Socialism.16 Sascha, the main character in the novel Perilous Kinship by Zafer Şenocak, a German writer of Turkish background born in Ankara and brought to Germany as a small child, describes himself as “grandchild of victims and perpetrators.”17 Sascha is a German writer who has an Ottoman grandfather who was an agent of the Armenian genocide and a German Jewish mother who is one of the family's only survivors of the Shoah. But while ostensibly allowing Turks a way to integrate into German society through the common experience of genocide, Şenocak falls back upon the mythologization of Turkish tolerance of Jews. He depicts Sascha's grandmother's family taking refuge from Nazi Germany in Turkey.18 Sascha's Muslim grandfather is not allowed to reach Nazi Germany; in his novel within a novel, Sascha has him commit suicide while en route, as a member of the Turkish delegation, to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.19 If Şenocak could allow his main character to reconstruct instead of invent his grandfather's life,20 for example, by making him a Turkish embassy official in Nazi Germany who facilitated the Shoah, or show Sascha's mother's family as Turkish Jewish victims of the Nazis, he might just recognize the painful process through which Turkish Jews were made distinct from Turkish Muslims by Turkish officials in Nazi Germany. Then he and others could come to grips with the Turks' place in German history, and how the German genocidal past was also a Turkish one.

Assuming “Turk” to be a self-evident category, most writers and scholars have not critically examined the conflation of Turk with Muslim, explored the Turkish experience of Nazism, or examined Turkey's relation to the darkest era of German history. Asking, “Doesn't immigrating to Germany also mean immigrating to, entering into, the arena of Germany's recent past?” has been a productive starting point for exploring the place of Turks in Germany today, because it appears to be so provocative, juxtaposing two seemingly unconnected peoples and historical epochs.21 Based on how an earlier generation of Turkish immigrants to Germany experienced the Shoah, however, my research argues against the assumption that Turks in Germany “cannot share” in the Jewish past,22 and against the commonly held view that for them the genocide of the Jews is merely a “borrowed memory.”23


Most Turkish Jews who settled in Berlin prior to World War II were poor, uneducated laborers in the carpet and tobacco industries, and owned little property. Very few were professionals. In 1916, Nissim Behar, a carpet weaver of Istanbul, followed in the footsteps of two brothers and two sisters, and settled with his wife Lea in Berlin.24 After 1923, Nissim took over his brother-in-law's flourishing Oriental carpet store, Cohen & Behar Oriental Rugs, located at the intersection of Kantstrasse and Fasanenstrasse near the Kurfürstendamm in Charlottenburg.25 The family moved into the building in which the business was located. “No one in the Behar family had a high-level position in politics or society,” Nissim's son Isaak relates in his autobiography. “My father was neither lawyer, judge, notary, or teacher. None of us imagined attending university let alone obtaining a doctorate. None of us was an actor, journalist, or writer…. We didn't even possess enough assets to have to declare their worth to the authorities.”26

Several Jews in the carpet business did do very well and were among the founders of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce for Germany in Berlin in 1927.27 Nissim Behar and his brother Moez became members. Jews served on the Chamber's board from its inception to the mid-1930s; a Jew served as its treasurer from 1927 to 1935.28

The situation for Jews in Turkey worsened during these years. Anti-Semitic depictions of Jews were prevalent in Turkish daily newspapers and humor magazines.29 Jews were subject to harassment and violence for not speaking Turkish in public. In 1934, anti-Semitic boycotts and attacks in Thrace, including a pogrom in Kırklareli, caused Jews to flee to Istanbul, and then abroad.30 The inspector general of Thrace, Ibrahim Tali, who had played a leading role in the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians, initiated the expulsion of the Thracian Jews, whom he labeled “parasites who suck Turks' blood.”31 To Tali, Jews were gold-worshipping, greedy, disloyal agents of foreign powers who controlled the economy and intended to establish communism. He aimed to solve this “Jewish problem,” as he called it, as quickly as possible by putting all economic resources into Muslim Turkish hands.

The effort affected Turkish Jews in Germany as well. As of 1936, Jews were no longer elected to the board of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Berlin. Since the board elected the officers, no Jew could thereafter be an officer. It is probably no coincidence that 1936 was also the first year in which the Chamber publicly supported the Nazi regime. As the minutes read: “The meeting was adjourned with the unanimous decision to send a telegram expressing devotion to the Führer and Reichskanzler.”32 A similar telegram was sent each year thereafter. Like the Association of Turkish Students—founded in 1925 and comprised of Muslim Turkish doctoral students studying in Berlin—which started flying a Nazi flag as early as 1935, the Chamber raised the Nazi flag alongside the Turkish one at its annual meeting by 1937. Its bilingual tenth anniversary publication the following year praised Atatürk and Hitler as “two great men” who had “achieved victory for two universal principles: National socialism and national rights.”33

By 1937, the Behar family still had not felt the sting of anti-Semitic persecution in Berlin, partly because unlike so many German Jews, they were not professionals. “We certainly took notice of what the other Jews had to suffer, how they were increasingly driven into poverty, isolation, and despair, but it did not especially affect us to the extent it should have because it seemed so far away from our life,” Isaak writes in his autobiography. “Also our Turkish citizenship still protected us.”34 The family witnessed the burning of the “Moorish” Fasanenstrasse synagogue, located a mere 150 meters south, on the pogrom of 9 November 1938, from the window of their third-story home.35 Isaak's father's Nissim Behar's Oriental carpet business on the first floor was neither destroyed nor plundered. Isaak wondered whether this “was because we were considered Turks first and not primarily Jews. Or maybe we were just lucky.”36 But that November night signaled an ominous turn for the worse for the family. The author's cousin was arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. For the first time, “one of us” was affected by Nazi persecution.37 Shortly afterward, his father had to turn over his business to a non-Jew.38

The next year, the Nazis disbanded the Sephardic Association. By then, of Jews residing in Germany who were Turkish citizens, only one-third (263) were recognized as Turkish citizens; of the Turkish Jews in Berlin, only one-fifth (101) were considered Turkish nationals.39 The steep decline in the number of “Turkish” Jews was the result of the Turkish Republic's stripping most Turkish Jews living in Europe of their Turkish nationality. In this way, over 90 percent of the twenty to thirty thousand Turkish Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe became stateless.40 As Isaak Behar narrates, “When I came home one afternoon in April 1939, the mood was very depressed. My mother held a letter out to me: the regime in Istanbul [i.e., Ankara] ordered us to have our Turkish citizenship verified. It was immediately clear to all of us that this was fatal, for it meant our passports would be cancelled during this ‘verification.’ Other Turkish Jews had already explained to us that they had never seen their passports again.” Indeed, “We received German alien passports in their place, with the notation ‘Citizenship: Turkey.’ Soon after, this was changed to ‘Citizenship: Undeclared.’ Finally, it was replaced by ‘Stateless.’ We had lost our final protection.”41

The Behar family suddenly began to experience the humiliation to which German Jews had already been subjected. Nazi degradation through banal harassment turned them into fear-ridden slaves, cut off from their humanity.42 Nissim and Isaak had to change their names to Israel; mother Lea and daughters Alegrina and Jeanne became Sara. In September 1939, the family had to give up its radio. From the beginning of 1940, they were only allowed to shop between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. and were no longer allowed rations of clothes and shoes, or shoe soles, soap, or shaving cream. In July 1940, they lost their telephone. At the beginning of 1941, all family members were subject to forced labor in Berlin. They toiled ten hours a day, six days a week, knowing that an injury or illness that rendered them unable to work meant deportation.43 In September of that year, they had to begin wearing the Star of David, which they were forced to purchase themselves. At the same time, like other Jewish men, Nissim and Isaak were forbidden to shave.

The Gestapo was immediately informed of who had lost the protection of the Turkish state. Stateless Turkish Jews of Berlin were among the first victims of Nazi deportations to the death camps. The second transport from Berlin, on 24 October 1941, carried over a dozen Turkish Jewish women and children to their deaths in Łódź.44

It is untrue that Turkish embassy officials could not have known about the violence to which Jews were subjected, as is widely believed in Turkey. The Turkish ambassador to Berlin, Hüsrev Gerede, who openly articulated pro-Nazi sentiment in his autobiography, written decades after the war, was aware of the Shoah as it unfolded.45 Less than two months after the second transport, on 3 December 1941, Gerede sent a private cable to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara informing his superiors of the mass murder of Jews in Poland and the Ukraine based on an eyewitness account: “Nearly one million Jewish men have recently been killed in Lemberg (Lviv) and Kiev. Twenty to thirty thousand people are made to congregate in a field, which is encircled by gunmen who annihilate them with machine-gun fire. The SS is responsible for the process of annihilation, and according to the eyewitness, these deadly operations will continue.”46

At the beginning of 1942, the Behars had to give up their furs and luxury items. That summer, their electrical apparatuses were taken, including heating pads, hot plates, and irons; their binoculars, bicycles, typewriters, and record players also had to go. From autumn 1942 on, they were no longer allowed to purchase meat or sausage, fish, milk, butter, or tobacco. Then they were not allowed to purchase books. In December, Nissim, Lea, Alegrina, and Jeanne Behar were arrested at their home and deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered.

In 1943, “as part of the solution of the Jewish question in Europe,” neutral states, including Turkey, were given an ultimatum to repatriate their Jewish citizens found in Nazi territory. July 31st was to be the last extension, and “all foreign Jews found in the German area of control after that time would be subject to the general measures taken against Jews,” in other words, “treated as German Jews.”47 By that point, most Turkish Jews had either already been deported or were subject to deportation. In September 1943, the secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, acting on orders from Ankara, declared to the German Foreign Ministry that a mass return migration of Turkish Jews should be prevented.48 Despite this, Turkey was then given until October 1943 to repatriate its citizens, but it did not organize a repatriation of the Jews waiting to be deported.49 At the end of October, the Nazis informed the Turkish authorities that they would deport the remaining Turkish Jews from Berlin to the camps: women and children to Ravensbrück, men to Buchenwald, and the elderly to Theresienstadt. The Turkish authorities once again did nothing to stop them, despite being able to repatriate them to Turkey. After their deportation, Turkish authorities were granted an additional month to demand their release from the camps, but there is no documentation that they availed themselves of this chance to save Turkish Jews, either.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials were imagining other contingencies for Jews in Turkey. Istanbul's chief of police and the chief of the police division concerned with foreigners and minorities traveled to Berlin at the beginning of 1943 to meet with their Gestapo counterparts.50 As guests of the Gestapo and SS, they traveled from Nazi-occupied Holland and France in the West to Poland and the Crimea in the East. They visited Krupp and I. G. Farben factories, run on slave labor. In Berlin, they stayed at the SS guesthouse in Wannsee, where only one year before their visit fifteen high-ranking representatives of the SS, Nazi Party, and various ministries, including Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann, met to discuss their cooperation in the ongoing annihilation of European Jewry.51 On 1 February 1943, “due to their special request,” the two Turkish police officials visited the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg outside Berlin, where two hundred thousand people were held in brutal conditions over the course of the war, and at least thirty thousand were murdered by gassing, hanging, shooting, and torture.52 Sachsenhausen was set up by Heinrich Himmler as a model for other camps, was used by the SS to train and prepare people such as Rudolf Höß, the camp commandant of Sachsenhausen and then Auschwitz, and was the home of the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, the administrative center for all concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe.53 At the SS club at Sachsenhausen, separated from “the screaming, the stench, the cramped conditions, and the violence” by merely a road and a wall, the Turkish police dined on a six-course lunch, including goose liver, and drank wine with SS officers.54 They made a careful tour of the camp, which would serve as a model for what they planned to construct in Turkey.55 After their return, a large building was erected in the main Jewish neighborhood of Istanbul. Turkish Jews thought it was a giant crematorium or oven that was to be used to incinerate them in the event that Germany, which already occupied Greece and Bulgaria, occupied Turkey.56


In spring 1943, the Turkish authorities in Berlin first intervened on behalf of a citizen of their own who was subject to persecution for “being Jewish.” Mümtaz Fazli Taylan was not, however, a Jew; he was a Dönme (Turkish, convert), a descendant of Jews who had converted to Islam in the wake of Shabbatai Tzevi's seventeenth-century messianic movement. Thus Fazli Taylan came from a group that had been outwardly Muslim for nearly three centuries.57 Yet the ethno-religious origins of Dönme such as Fazli Taylan were not forgotten by others in Turkey, or by Turks living abroad.

Fazli Taylan was the most prominent Turk in Berlin. He had earned a Ph.D. in engineering at Berlin University at the end of World War I, become a Marxist, and was co-founder of the first Turkish Communist Party.58 Then he dropped out of politics and became a wealthy businessman, owning a very successful export firm. He was a co-founder and officer of the Turkish Club (chairman 1930, board member 1930–1940)59 and the Turkish Chamber of Commerce (chairman 1927–1932, vice-chairman 1933–1940, member until 1942).60 He was a typical member of Berlin's Muslim community when we consider that one of the two main groups of Muslims, the Ahmadiyya, which ran the single mosque in the country, was headed by a Jewish convert to Islam until the mid-1930s.61 Most Berlin Muslims, including Turkish Muslims, were much better off than the Turkish Jews in the city. Muslims in Berlin were mostly financially independent, well-educated members of the upper middle class, fluent in German: professors, professionals, or doctoral students living in the wealthy, fashionable district of Charlottenburg, where many married German women.62 Fazli Taylan's wife was named Hertha; one could scarcely pick a more fitting name for a Berliner—the city's professional football club is Hertha Berlin. Taylan's well-established business was at the corner of the much-desired intersection of the fashionable Ku'damm and Fasanenstrasse, 200 meters south of the roofless and windowless shell of the charred “Moorish” synagogue, gutted on 9 November 1938, and one long block away from the former home of the Behar family.63

As Taylan approached his store, “Orak” (Sickle), one spring morning in 1943, he could not believe his eyes. Yellow Stars of David were painted on the windows, and police were in the process of emptying the business, while a crowd of onlookers, including some of his business rivals, cheered them on. He soon learned that the mayor of Charlottenburg, acting on a directive from the minister of the economy, had ordered the liquidation of his business, which had been included in the list of Jewish firms in the city.

While the Nazis had murderous plans for stateless Jews such as the Behars, they had difficulty discerning the “racial” identity of Dönme such as Fazli Taylan. Were the Dönme “Turkish by race,” although Jewish by belief, and thus exempt from persecution, or “Jewish by race” and Muslim by belief, and thus marked for murder? In a similar case, “experts” had been consulted to determine whether Karaites were “Jewish by race,” but fortunately, it was determined they were “racially non-Semitic” and thus on the whole spared Nazi persecution.64 The Dönme, however, were known not to intermarry, marrying only other descendants of the Jews who had converted to Islam in the seventeenth century. Yet Dönme were legally Muslims and Turkish citizens. Thus Nazi officials and their Turkish sympathizers in Berlin had a potential problem and Dönme a probable defense: Turkey was a neutral state.65 Its citizens could not be subjected to anti-Jewish measures, such as being forced to wear Stars of David or forced to turn over their bank accounts and businesses to the Nazi authorities. From 1942 to 1944, a flurry of letters were exchanged among the Reich Foreign Ministry, Reich Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, and the Germany Embassy in Ankara. Academic experts in Germany and Turkey were asked to submit their opinion on the racial and religious identity of the Dönme and the state of “the Jewish problem” and anti-Semitism in Turkey.

The main question these scholars and bureaucrats grappled with was whether the Dönme were Jews or Muslims. This was the same question the Turkish Republic had been struggling with ever since Dönme arrived en masse in Turkey after being expelled from Salonika as part of the “population exchange” between Greece and Turkey in 1923–1924.66 In 1942, it had finally determined they were not Muslims: it placed them in a distinct category for purposes of the Wealth Tax first implemented that year.67 Popular opinion in Turkey and Turkish experts contended that they were Jews, and this Turkish view swayed Nazi officials to do the same.

Franz von Papen, the German Ambassador to Turkey,68 wrote a detailed letter in response to a Reich Foreign Ministry inquiry on the identity of the Dönme, in which he stated that “some individuals, despite being legally considered Muslim for three hundred years, nevertheless, are today considered Jewish by Turks.”69 He advocated using “the very clever tactic the Turks use, namely, to recognize Dönme as Turks, only turning against these elements when they harm pure Turkish interests.” The aim was “the elimination of the Dönme that at present are still proxies of German firms [in Turkey].” More difficult for Nazi authorities would be “resolving the question of supply. It remains to be seen whether not supplying German goods to Dönme [in Turkey] will harm German export interests.” The letter noted that it became a vexed problem in Turkish-German relations “made clear during the last economic negotiations in the autumn of last year. [Turkish Foreign Minister] Numan finally had to abandon finding a solution to the problem under consideration with a solution that conforms to the Turkish constitution.”

Papen was known to have sought to boost German-Turkish trade by setting up bogus shipping firms in 1941.70 Would these fronts replace Dönme businesses? Here it appears that Papen sought to remove Dönme from representing German firms in Turkey. Fazli Taylan, who represented at least four major German firms, would have been affected if this opinion were to be enacted. What the “solution” and “problem” referred to in the letter's last paragraph were is unclear. Perhaps the Nazi regime sought to insert a clause into the agreement prohibiting Dönme and Jews from engaging in trade with Germany. Since Turkey's constitution does not distinguish between citizens according to religion or ethnicity, however, this would have been deemed unworkable.

An anonymous expert in Turkey declared, “Despite the past 250 years, the Dönme of today are as Jewish as their Spanish fellow believers were. This is especially how the Turks feel, and in increasing measure, as the anti-Jewish attitude of the Turkish public is manifested to the outside [world].”71 To prove this, “one needs only to compare one of the Turkish humor magazines from ten years ago and from today.” This anti-Semitism was detailed in a report written by Julius Seiler, Press Department Legation advisor at the German Embassy in Ankara, entitled “The Status of the Jewish Question in Turkey” for the Nazi Party research institute founded by Alfred Rosenberg, the Institute for the Investigation of the Jewish Problem (Institut zur Erforschung der Judenfrage, or “Hohe Schule der NSDAP”) in Frankfurt am Main.72 It begins, “Until recently, there was no Jewish problem in Turkey.” That is to say, “Today in Turkey, these Jews are not accepted as Turks, although they have possessed Turkish citizenship for centuries and become Muslims … they are rejected by both the Jews and the Turks … today it is difficult to correctly determine their origins.” As to anti-Semitism in Turkey, “Jews have increasingly begun to appear in the press as profiteers and speculators. Almost every day one finds notices in the dailies that the Jewish businessman XY was either exiled or fined so-and-so-many thousand Turkish gold pounds. The caricature journals publish at least one anti-Semitic caricature in each issue, which show the Jews as profiteers.” He considered the “extremely drastic portrayal of Jewish racial characteristics” to be “striking.” Moreover, there had been “a parliamentary debate in the Grand National Assembly in Ankara concerning the reporting policy of the official Turkish news agency Anatolia,” which was “berated” “for its reporting of the sinking of the Jewish ship ‘Struma.’ Prime Minister Dr. Refik Saydam answered with a sentence which has fundamental meaning for the future of how the Jewish Question is answered in Turkey: ‘Turkey cannot be a place of refuge for people who are not desired by others. Turkey cannot be a compulsory homeland for people that the others do not want.’” As the report observes, “This debate led to measures against Jews in the Anatolia Agency,” namely, “all the Jews who worked for the agency” were fired. Connected to this “was another decree of the prime minister, this one expelling Jews from employment in hotels and restaurants,” which “especially affected artists and musicians.” Moreover, “As most Turkish youth are drafted into military service … the minorities were likewise drafted. Yet they were not given arms, but instead collected in labor battalions and made to perform the hardest labor in the remotest parts of Anatolia. This included Armenians and Greeks, but especially Jews. Those who returned always reported horrible treatment by the rural population of Anatolia, which considered them all Jews, even if they were actually Armenian or Greek.”

Reflecting such Turkish anti-Semitism, Nazi authorities decided that Dönme were Jews and treated them accordingly. But Turkish officials challenged this policy. The Turkish embassy's letter to the Foreign Ministry at the beginning of March 1943 protested the treatment of Fazli Taylan, “a Turkish citizen,” who “has been considered by the competent Reich authorities as a non-Aryan,” saying, “measures concerning Jews have been applied to him, and as a consequence, the measures have also applied to his property and business interests he holds in Germany.” The consular officials protested, “The abovementioned is Turkish and Muslim, and besides, the classification into Aryan and non-Aryan is not accepted in Turkey.”73 Turkish officials did not use this argument to defend the rights of their Jewish citizens or former citizens.

Dr. von Coelln of the Reich Ministry of Economic Affairs wrote a report to the Reich Foreign Affairs Ministry in May 1943 explaining the Fazli Taylan case, and why his firm had been included in the list of Jewish-owned companies.74 As he explains, “The mayor of the Reich capital Berlin had at first left the firm ‘Orak’ off the list of Jewish companies because he was not able to prove that its single owner, the Turkish citizen Taylan, is a Jew. Meanwhile, the Reich Office for Foreign Trade had disclosed that the engineer Fazli Taylan is a Dönme, therefore, a Jew.” Accordingly, “the firm ‘Orak’ is now registered on the list of Jewish companies.” Since Fazli Taylan “is of the Jewish race, as the German Embassy in Ankara has confirmed, all of the decrees enacted for the elimination of the Jews from German economic life also are applicable to him.” Von Coelln then asked to be advised “if particular foreign policy reasons make it appear inappropriate at the moment to proceed against Fazli Taylan with the aforementioned measures. Please also inform me in particular whether it is merely undesired to forbid Fazli Taylan from continuing his business, or whether it is also imperative to remove his company from the list of Jewish companies for the time being.”

At the end of May 1943, the Reich Foreign Ministry decided not to act against Fazli Taylan's company: “Taking into consideration that the Turkish government does not wish that Turkish citizens be dealt with on the basis of their racial origins,” it begins, and since “the country is rather sensitive with regard to this issue,” the political office opined that “at least for the time being, it would not be expedient to apply the provisions of the German legislation in question to the Turkish citizens who are involved in German economic life.”75

At the beginning of that summer, Eberhard von Thadden of the Reich Foreign Ministry, a longtime Nazi Party and SS member, responded to the Reich Ministry of Economic Affairs with a short note to the effect that even though Fazli Taylan was a Jew, his company had been removed from the list of Jewish companies “for the time being” out of foreign policy considerations. It concluded: “A re-examination of this opinion will only be possible when a change in the foreign policy situation alters our relationship with Turkey.”76 Von Thadden was director of the Jewish Department of the Foreign Ministry and the person responsible for relations with Himmler and the SS. As such, he was involved with the organization of the transportation of Jews from throughout Nazi-occupied Europe to the death camps.77 The last line of his response meant that should Turkey cease being a neutral country, Fazli Taylan would be deported to his death.

The Turkish Embassy in Berlin was not pleased with the “temporary” nature of the removal of Orak from the list of Jewish firms. Only a month after articulating Turkey's desire not to repatriate its Jews, the Embassy's first secretary met with von Thadden at the end of October 1943 to protect Fazli Taylan from being affected by anti-Semitic measures. After this meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that even though the exclusion of Orak “from the list of enterprises belonging to the Jews” was only “temporary from the viewpoint of German authorities,” the Turkish authorities were told that the firm “had been removed and erased—not temporarily, but permanently and without restrictions—from the list of Jewish businesses.”78 At the beginning of 1944, the mayor of Berlin sent a letter to the Ministry of the Economy confirming that Orak “has been unconditionally removed” from the list of businesses “belonging to the Jews.”79

By then, Fazli Taylan had been spirited out of Germany for Turkey to wait out the war's end. He returned to Berlin as Turkey's business attaché in 1946 and ran his business Orak at the same address until 1948, after which he again resettled in Turkey, for the next three decades playing a key role in Turkey's industrialization.80


Turkish officials had intervened and saved Fazli Taylan's life. But why had they saved this “Jew” and not others in Berlin? In 1934, Fazli Taylan, despite being a Dönme, had become indispensable to the Turkish Republic. In that year, he had founded Orak, very near where the Association of Turkish Students, Turkish Club, and Turkish Chamber of Commerce met.81 Orak exported unspecified products from the German technical industry82 and it became the intermediary for the exports to Turkey of the German firms Krupp (Essen), Henschel (Kassel), Linke-Hofmann (Breslau), and Knorr-Bremse (Berlin).83 Krupp was the center of the German armament industry and Henschel the main producer of armored fighting vehicles, including tanks. Linke-Hofmann produced railroad cars for passengers and freight and was a partner with Krupp and Henschel.84 Although Krupp produced a range of iron and steel products, and Henschel locomotives, trucks, and buses,85 it is most likely that Orak was set up with the assistance of the Turkish authorities to export weaponry and armored vehicles to Turkey. Thus Turkey's actions confirm von Papen's analysis that Turkey considered individual Dönme as Turkish and Muslim when it was in its interests to do so.

In contrast with the Dönme Fazli Taylan, Turkish Jews such as the Behar family were targeted for persecution and murder with the connivance of the Turkish consular officials, who systematically stripped them of their citizenship, rendering them stateless and vulnerable to Nazi genocidal policies.86 The Behars had lived right around the corner from Eric Auerbach, whose son Clemens was born the same year as Isaak. Auerbach was member of a select group of prominent German Jews of the intellectual elite allowed conditional refuge in Turkey: “It is history's tragic irony that the Behars, who had tried to find a better and safer life in Weimar Germany, themselves became the victims of the Holocaust. The Auerbachs managed to leave Germany and find refuge in the very city where the Behars had once lived.”87 Turkey has neither memorialized Turkish Jewish victims such as the Behars nor acknowledged Turkish official complicity in allowing their deaths. The limited migration of small numbers of German Jews such as the Auerbachs, on the other hand, is celebrated by the Turkish government as an example of Turkey's humanitarian treatment of Jews facing persecution. In the 1930s, however, Turkish officials did not identify these Germans as Jews. They preferred to see them as representatives of Europe, who were instrumentalized to modernize and Westernize the secularizing Republic's newly established universities.88 The same officials did not see Turkish Jews as either Europeans (and thus useful for Turkey), or Turks (and thus worth saving). For at that time, Ankara told its diplomats in Europe “not to send trains full of Jews to Turkey,” “particularly of those Jews who had correct Turkish papers but have not had any contact with Turkey for decades.”89 Its diplomats acted accordingly.90 This fact should finally lie to rest the claim that Turkey's policy was to save Jews during the Shoah, that it “struggled and fought to protect Turkish Jews from racist attacks,” and that when Jews lost their Turkish citizenship, there was nothing Turkey could do to save them.91

The Sephardic Turkish community of Berlin was annihilated by the Shoah. Over one hundred of its members were deported to concentration camps, and most of them were murdered.92 The last leader of the community—who wore a Turkish flag pin on his lapel, and had been a member of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce, in whose minutes one finds the signature of this Jew next to that of the Turkish consul—had repeatedly asked the embassy in Berlin to reinstate his Turkish citizenship, revoked in 1940, and to repatriate him to Turkey, but was rebuffed. He hid the Torah scrolls in his apartment; they were probably destroyed after he was arrested and deported to his death in 1942.93 The synagogue itself did not survive the war.

Thanks to the assistance of half-a-dozen non-Jews, youthful recklessness, and several strokes of fortune, Isaak Behar thrice escaped almost certain death, including from a transport from Berlin to Auschwitz, and became one of the very few “full” Jews to have gone underground in Berlin and survived.94 Those like Behar who had beaten incredible odds to make it to liberation alive, having “encountered primarily the best of the Germans”—networks of people who had risked their own lives to shelter them—tended to have the most positive view of a future life in Germany.95 Behar's opinion of Turkey, on the other hand, was hardly favorable. As he relates in his memoir, in the mid-1950s, “Obtaining a Turkish passport appeared to be an absolutely simple process. But with complete bitterness I thought back about how Turkey had withdrawn our citizenship when we needed it the most. How easy it would have been at that time, with a Turkish passport, for me and my family to have been delivered to safety. And how easy was it for me [after the war], to get my Turkish passport back! Shortly afterward, I decided, however, to relinquish my Turkish citizenship…. I decided to become German.”96

Although Jewish survivors faced considerable difficulties in Germany immediately after the War,97 one can argue that he made the right choice. Since the late 1950s Germany has been committed to reinscribing Jews within the nation, making amends to German Jewish survivors and their descendants. By contrast, to this day in Turkey, Jews are marked as foreigners by the “non-Turkish” names they bear and are not regarded as Turks.98 Although being considered a stranger may no longer have the grave consequences that it did for Turkish Jews in World War II-era Berlin, this shows how the process of exclusion, distinguishing “Turk” from “Jew,” and thus determining who belongs to the nation, is still operative.

Making Turkish Jews into “eternal strangers” is expressed most clearly by Turkey's embracing the self-image of a righteous Muslim nation that has always been a tolerant “host” to its Jewish “guests,” which it uses to foster a sense of moral superiority to Christian Europe.99 In 1992, the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Turkey launched a public relations campaign through The Quincentennial Foundation to improve its image and relations with the United States and Europe. Believing that Jews play the key role in shaping U.S. public opinion and foreign policy, and recognizing that tolerance of Jews and combating anti-Semitism had become central to European identity, Turkey centered its campaign on “a notion of Jewish gratitude for Ottoman and Turkish hospitality.”100 The campaign claimed that Turkey's treatment of Jews demonstrates that “Turkey could serve as a model to be emulated by any nation which finds refugees from any of the four corners of the world standing at its doors.” Accordingly, beginning “in 1992, Turkish Jewry will celebrate not only the anniversary of this gracious welcome, but also the remarkable spirit of tolerance and acceptance which has characterized the whole Jewish experience in Turkey.… As a whole, the celebration aims to demonstrate the richness and security of life Jews have found in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic over these more than five centuries, and show that indeed it is not impossible for people of different creeds to live together peacefully under one flag.”101 Drawing continuities between the Ottoman ingathering of Iberian Jews after their expulsion in the fifteenth century and the Turkish Republic's acceptance of German Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the twentieth century, it has since used this campaign—manifested in model school curricula, academic publications and conferences, university lectures, heritage tourism for Jewish Americans, sponsored trips for journalists and politicians, the establishment of a Jewish museum in Istanbul, and affiliated traveling exhibits102—to promote the message that Turks have always been tolerant of “foreign” Jews. Turkish film director Burak Cem Arlıel even boasted that his film, Türk Pasaportu (Turkish passport), financed by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, “is the only genocide film with a happy ending, because we succeeded in saving these people.”103 Europe—which forcibly converted, expelled, and annihilated its Jews—thus cannot claim moral superiority to Turkey, depicted as a nation tolerant of difference.

Repeating stories of European Jews given refuge across the centuries in what is now Turkey, allows Turkey not only to turn the tables on centuries-old European charges of Turkish “barbarity,” but to silence European criticism of contemporary human rights violations and inherited responsibility for committing genocide against the Ottoman Armenians, which the Turkish Republic has never acknowledged, let alone memorialized.104 The aim is to silence its critics and create goodwill in the international arena. Turkey has no interest in admitting to the discrimination and violence its own population of Jews has been subjected to in the Turkish Republic, or the tragedy of the Turkish Jews left to their fate in Europe during the Shoah by their own government. Such revelations would puncture the myth of tolerance of Jews that Turkey relies on and draw attention to the “Turkish” and not foreign nature of Turkish Jews. Yet coming to terms with the experience of Turks under National Socialism would enable Turkey to make a better case for what it has in common with the members of the European Union, give it more sympathetic partners in Germany, eager to help combat anti-Turkish racism, and lead to a new openness in recognizing all forms of discrimination in Turkey.

Turkey is not alone in conceiving of minority populations as “eternal guests” and promoting a self-image of moral superiority that has repercussions for who is considered to belong to the nation. Germany has promoted a postwar identity as a Schicksalgemeinschaft (community of destiny)—a nation consisting solely of the descendants of guilty German perpetrators—which after the war (and especially since the 1980s) atoned for its crimes through memorialization, especially in monument building and school curricula.105 This culture of memorialization makes the Shoah an ethnic German affair and promotes a notion of belonging that excludes non-ethnic Germans: “Germans are those who define themselves in terms of belonging by rejection of the Nazi past. A German citizen of Turkish background can hardly fully belong to such a collective. He cannot use the common ‘we’ concerning the contaminated past of Germany.”106 This exclusion of Germans of Turkish descent is facilitated by two common beliefs: first, that “Turks” were not affected by National Socialism because “the experiences and atrocities of the war remained far away” from Turkey,107 and second, that it was nearly two decades after the Jews had been annihilated in the death camps that Turks first migrated to Germany as “guests.” In this context, so long as this conception of German national identity and history of Turkish migration—depicted having no prewar history—is dominant, Germans of Turkish background will always be considered strangers and never be considered fully German, whether they are citizens or not.108 Turkish Jewish suffering under National Socialism will not be mourned, and Turks will not be asked to account for Turkish complicity in the deaths of fellow citizens. Neither historical experience will enter the public conversation complicating depictions of that dark era of history or be used to challenge what it means to be German today. A culture of memorialization that focuses exclusively on anti-Semitism and German perpetration in the past will continue to allow other forms of racism in contemporary Germany to be overlooked, for it presents ethnic Germans as morally superior: according to this view, Germans alone have atoned for their crimes. Others neither admit to the genocides they committed nor take an interest in the fate of European Jewry. Atonement, in turn, absolves ethnic Germans from recognizing the new racist offenses they commit.109 Ignoring discrimination today ensures that young Germans of Turkish and other non-ethnic-German backgrounds will feel excluded from, and accordingly not be engaged by, Shoah remembrance. This indifference will then be used against them, cited as evidence of insensitivity, placing the blame for their lack of integration into the national remembrance culture on the descendants of migrants themselves.110 Acknowledging the persistence of racism, drawing analogies between the experience of Jews to the end of World War II with that of Turks after the war in Germany, continuing to urge Germans of Turkish background to grapple with the history of Nazism, considering the Shoah in a comparative context with other traumatic histories, or having Germans of Turkish background study the Armenian genocide in school may yet enable Germans and Germans of Turkish background to be “touched” by each other's history.111 The problem with such endeavors, however, is that they accentuate the foreignness of Turks and the Germanness of the Shoah. Even when the facilitators of and participants in such efforts avoid suggesting equivalencies and divulging in competitive memory and victim talk,112 and “accommodate a diversity of histories that resonate with each other instead of erasing each other,”113 what is being deployed is the logic of comparison across time and space. Publicizing the experience of Turks under National Socialism in Germany—rather than trying to create empathy by focusing on racism or genocide in different eras, and even different places—will allow ethnic Germans and Germans of Turkish background to come to terms with the painful history they share. Only then can they undergo what Şenocak terms “a profound change of consciousness,” ensuring that they “really live together successfully.”114


1 Corry Guttstadt , Die Türkei, die Juden und der Holocaust (Hamburg: Assoziation A, 2008), 112–21; 135–47 [Google Scholar].

2 Ibid., 104–9.

3 Corinna Guttstadt , “Sepharden an der Spree: Türkische Juden im Berlin der 20er- und 30er-Jahre und ihr Schicksal während der Schoah,” in Berlin in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Jahrbuch des Landesarchivs Berlin 2008 (Berlin, 2009), 215 [Google Scholar].

4 Jewish subjects of the Ottoman Empire had resided in Central Europe since at least the seventeenth century. The Austro-Hungarian Empire gave official recognition to the Ottoman Jewish community of Vienna in the late eighteenth century, and it eventually grew to about one thousand members. They built their impressive synagogue in Moorish style in 1887. See “Die Türken in Wien: Geschichte einer jüdischen Gemeinde,” Jüdisches Museum Wien, 5 Dec. 2010–9 Jan. 2011; and Guttstadt, Die Türkei, 135–43. Information about Ottoman Jews in Berlin comes from Guttstadt, “Sepharden an der Spree,” 215–33. The article was the basis of the exhibit, “Vom Bosporus an die Spree: Türkische Juden in Berlin,” Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin—Centrum Judaicum, 4 Feb.–4 July 2010.

5 Guttstadt, “Sepharden an der Spree,” 216.

6 Guttstadt, Die Türkei, 145.

7 A representative bibliography of recent books published in English alone demonstrates this point. See Betigül Ercan Argun , Turkey in Germany: The Transnational Sphere of Deutschkei (New York: Routledge, 2003) [Google Scholar]; Deniz Göktürk , David Gramling , and Anton Kaes , eds., Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955–2005 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007) [Google Scholar]; Kira Kosnick , Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007) [Google Scholar]; Gökçe Yurdakul , From Guestworkers into Muslims: The Transformation of Turkish Immigrant Associations in Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008) [Google Scholar]; Martin Sökefeld , Struggling for Recognition: The Alevi Movement in Germany and in Transnational Space (London: Berghahn Books, 2008) [Google Scholar], and Rita Chin , The Guestworker Question in Post-War Germany (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009) [Google Scholar]. Most of these studies do not recognize that the category “Turkish guest worker” includes a significant number of migrants from Turkey who identify as Kurds, Armenians, and Arabs.

8 Leslie Adelson , The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature: Toward a New Critical Grammar of Migration (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 20 [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar].

9 Turks (and Kurds from Turkey) in Germany also compare themselves to Jews, drawing parallels between the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era and hatred of “foreigners” today. See Viola Georgi , Entliehene Erinnerung: Geschichtsbilder junger Migranten in Deutschland (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2003), 166–67, 238–41, 258–64, 283 [Google Scholar]; Jeffrey Peck , “Jews and Turks: Discourses of the ‘Other,’” in idem, Being Jewish in the New Germany (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2006), 86–109 [Google Scholar]; Gökçe Yurdakul and Y. Michal Bodemann , “‘We Don't Want to Be the Jews of Tomorrow’: Jews and Turks in Germany after 9/11,” German Politics and Society 24, 2 (2006): 44–67 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar]; Ruth Mandel , Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008), 129–40 [Google Scholar]; Gilad Margalit , “On Being Other in Post-Holocaust Germany: German-Turkish Intellectuals and the German Past,” in José Brunner and Shai Levi , eds., Juden und Muslime in Deutschland: Recht, Religion, Identität, Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 37 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009), 209–32 [Google Scholar]; Rita Chin and Heide Fehrenbach , “Introduction: What's Race Got to Do With It? Postwar German History in Context,” in Rita Chin , Heide Fehrenbach , Geoff Eley , and Atina Grossman , eds., After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009), 10–14 [Google Scholar]; and Gökçe Yurdakul , “Juden und Türken in Deutschland: Integration von Immigranten, politische Repräsentation und Minderheitenrechte,” in Gökçe Yurdakul and Michal Bodemann , eds., Staatsbürgerschaft, Migration und Minderheiten: Inklusion und Ausgrenzungsstrategien im Vergleich (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2010), 127–59 [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar].

10 Adelson, The Turkish Turn, 20.

11 Interview, Magazin Lettre International, 2009, heft 86, 197–201. See “Former Finance Minister Slams Berlin's ‘Underclass,’” Spiegel Online International, 1 Oct. 2009,,1518,652582,00.html; and “Sarrazin Stripped of Key Power after Disparaging Remarks about Immigrants,” Spiegel Online International, 13 Oct. 2009,,1518,654955,00.html.

12 Over ten thousand Jews in Berlin are officially registered as members of the community. Many tens of thousands more live in the city without affiliation. See (accessed 1 June 2010); and Peck, “Russian Immigration and the Revitalization of German Jewry,” in idem, Being Jewish in the New Germany, 40–59.

13 See Y; Michal Bodemann , “Introduction: The Return of the European Jewish Diaspora,” in The New German Jewry and the European Context: The Return of the European Jewish Diaspora (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 1–12 [Google Scholar].

14 Disturbingly, in the days following the publication of Sarrazin's initial remarks, an opinion poll showed that over half of Germans agreed with him. He subsequently published these ideas—that Germans are having far too few children, while Muslim immigrants are having too many; that Germany is headed toward a Muslim majority; that intelligence is inherited, and since Muslims are less intelligent than Germans, there will be a general dumbing down, hence the preference for Jewish immigrants, said to have higher IQs than Germans, expressed in his book Deutschland schafft sich ab. The book has sold well over a million copies, which more than compensates him for being dismissed from his position at the Central Bank. Thilo Sarrazin , Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen, 19th printing (Berlin: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2010) [Google Scholar]. These quotes appear on 93, 96, and 348. See also Michael Slackman, “Book Sets off Painful Immigration Debate in Germany,” New York Times, 3 Sept. 2010, World/Europe section, A4; and Michael Slackman, “The Saturday Profile—Thilo Sarrazin,” New York Times, 13 Nov. 2010, World/Europe section, A6.

15 İrfan Sezer, “Nazi kurbanı Türkler anıldı” (Turkish victims of the Nazis commemorated), Munich, Hürriyet Avrupa, 4 May 2009.

16 Leslie Adelson , “Introduction,” in Zafer Şenocak , Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture, 1990–1998 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), xxx [Google Scholar].

17 Zafer Şenocak , Perilous Kinship, Tom Cheesman , trans. (Swansea, Wales: Hafan, 2009), 32 [Google Scholar]. The novel originally appeared in German as Gefährliche Verwandtschaft (Munich: Babel Verlag, 1998) [Google Scholar].

18 Ibid., 59, 70–71.

19 Şenocak, Perilous Kinship, 19.

20 Ibid., 8; Adelson, The Turkish Turn, 110.

21 Zafer Şenocak and Bülent Tulay , “Germany-Home for Turks?” in Zafer Şenocak , Atlas of a Tropical Germany: Essays on Politics and Culture, 1990–1998, Leslie Adelson , trans. and ed. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 6 [Google Scholar].

22 See Şenocak, Perilous Kinship, 69: “In today's Germany, Jews and Germans no longer face one another alone. Instead, a situation has emerged which corresponds to my personal origin and situation. In Germany now, a trialogue is developing among Germans, Jews, and Turks, among Christians, Jews, and Moslems. The undoing of the German-Jewish dichotomy might rescue both parties, Germans and Jews, from their traumatic experiences. But for this to happen they would have to admit the Turks into their sphere. And for their part, the Turks in Germany would have to discover the existence of the Jews not just as part of the German past, in which they cannot share, but as part of the present in which they live. Without the Jews the Turks stand in a dichotomous relation to the Germans. They tread in the footprints of the German Jews of the past” (my emphasis). Adelson notes how Sascha instructs readers to view such “fantasies” of Turkish-German rapprochement as “highly suspect” because the novel undermines such representational claims. Adelson, The Turkish Turn, 121–22.

23 Georgi argues that because most ancestors of non-ethnic Germans in Germany today were neither victims, witnesses, supporters, or perpetrators of violence during the Nazi era, the Holocaust is “borrowed memory” for youth of migrant background. Georgi, Entliehene Erinnerung, 9–10.

24 Isaak Behar , “Versprich mir, dass du am Leben bleibst:” Ein jüdische Schicksal, 2d ed. (Munich: List, 2009), 21–22 [Google Scholar].

25 Ibid., 27.

26 Ibid., 58–59.

27 Landesarchiv Berlin B Rep. 042, Nr. 26815/2 “türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland in Berlin e.V.,” Application for Registration, 27 Dec. 1927.

28 Ellie Cappon served as treasurer from 1927 to 1932. He was succeeded in that office by Nissim Zacouto, from 1933 to 1935. See Landesarchiv Berlin B Rep. 042, Nr. 26815/2 “türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland in Berlin e.V.,” report of annual meetings from 1927 to 1935.

29 For the difficulties Turkish Jews faced during the first two decades of the early Turkish Republic, the best work is Rıfat Bali , Türkiye Cumhuriyetinde Yahudiler: Bir Türkleştirme Serüveni, 1923–1945 (Jews in the Turkish Republic: An Adventure in Turkification) (Istanbul: İletişim, 1999) [Google Scholar]. On anti-Semitism in the press during these years, see Laurent Mallet , “Karikatür dergisinde yahudilerle ilgili karikatürler, 1936–1948” (Caricatures of Jews in caricature journals), Toplumsal Tarih 34 (Oct. 1996): 19–36 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar]; Hatice Bayraktar , Salamon und Rabeka: Judenstereotype in Karikaturen der türkischen Zeitschriften “Akbaba,” “Karikatür” und “Milli Inkilap,” 1933–1945 (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz, 2006) [Google Scholar]; and idem, “Stereotypes of Jews in Turkish Caricatures, 1933–1945,” in Martin Liepach et al., eds, Jewish Images in the Media (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2007): 85–104 [Google Scholar].

30 Hatice Bayraktar , “The Anti-Jewish Pogrom in Eastern Thrace in 1934: New Evidence for the Responsibility of the Turkish Government,” Patterns of Prejudice 40, 2 (2006): 95–111, here 104–5 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar].

31 Ibid.

32 Landesarchiv Berlin B Rep. 042, Nr. 26815/2 “türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland in Berlin e.V.,” report of annual meeting of 18 Mar. 1936.

33 10 Yıl Jahre Almanya da Türk Ticaret Odası/Türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland (Berlin 1938), 23.

34 Behar, “Versprich mir,” 59.

35 Ibid., 68–70.

36 Ibid., 70.

37 Ibid., 71.

38 Ibid., 72.

39 Ibid., 268.

40 Guttstadt, “Sepharden an der Spree,” 223.

41 Behar, “Versprich mir,” 73–74.

42 See ibid., 79–91.

43 Ibid., 81.

44 Ibid., 224–25.

45 See especially Hüsrev Gerede , Harb içinde Almanya (1939–1942) (Germany at war), yayına hazırlayanlar Hulûsi Turgut ve Sırrı Yüksel Cebeci (Istanbul: ABC Ajansı, 1994), 399–400 [Google Scholar]. Gerede penned his memoir between 1960 and 1962, and it was serialized in Günaydın newspaper in 1989. It did not appear in book form until 1994. Its cover features a white swastika on a background of numerous interlocking black swastikas.

46 Türkiye Cumhuriyet Dışişleri Bakanlığı Arşivleri, İkinci Dünya Harbinde Yahudiler Fonları, K.9, D.1: T. C. Berlin Büyükelçiliğinden Dışişleri Bakanlığına rapor, “Zata mahsus,” 3 Dec. 1941, no. 1557/671. The document was published in a 750-page book subtitled “Turkey's struggle against European racists” written by a former Turkish ambassador who was allowed access to the otherwise inaccessible Turkish Foreign Ministry archives in order to document the Turkish state's role in saving Jews during the Shoah. Bilâl N. Șimşir , Türk Yahudiler II: Avrupa ırkçılarına karşı Türkiye'nin mücadelesi (Turkish Jews II: Turkey's struggle against European racists) (Ankara: Bilgi, 2010), 293–94 [Google Scholar].

47 Auswärtiges Amt-Politisches Archiv, R 100889, Vortragsnotiz zu Inland II 1947g, 12 July 1943.

48 Ibid., 231, note 24.

49 Guttstadt, “Sepharden an der Spree,” 226–27.

50 The complete official travel itinerary recorded by the Nazis is translated into Turkish in Rıfat Bali , “Sachsenhausen Temerküz Kampı’nın Türk Ziyaretçileri” (Turkish visitors to Sachsenhausen concentration camp), Toplumsal Tarih 151 (July 2006): 43 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar]. The top army generals traveled to Europe that summer, meeting with Hitler in Berlin and touring the western and eastern fronts. See Rıfat Bali , “Hitler ile Görüşme: Ordu Komutanı Orgeneral Cemil Cahit Toydemir'in Almanya Gezisi” (Meeting with Hitler: Army Chief of Staff General Cahit Toydemir's visit to Germany), Toplumsal Tarih 165 (Sept. 2007): 38–42 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar].

51 On the Wannsee Conference, protocols of the meeting, and other documentation on the genocide of European Jewry, see

52 On Sachsenhausen, see

53 Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 1936–1945: Events and Developments, Günter Morsch and Astrid Ley , eds., Schriftenreihe der Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Band 24 (Berlin: Metropol, 2011), 79, 182 [Google Scholar].

54 These are the words of the Dutch camp survivor Ab Nikolaas. Quoted in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 1936–1945, 12.

55 The Nazis had drawn up plans for murdering the Jews of Arab lands―on the lines of the Mobile Killing Units (Einsatzgruppen) deployed in the USSR―in the wake of the defeat of the British and French in the Middle East and North Africa. Nazi occupation forces murdered Jews in Tunisia, but were largely unable to carry out massacres elsewhere. See Peter Wien , “Coming to Terms with the Past: German Academia and Historical Relations between the Arab Lands and Nazi Germany,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42 (May 2010): 311–21, here 312–13 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [CJO Abstract]  [Google Scholar].

56 The Istanbul Chief of Police (Nov. 1942–Sept. 1943) was Nihat Halûk Pepeyi and the police official in charge of the office of foreigners and minorities was Salahattin Korkud. The two traveled to Germany in January and February of 1943, ostensibly to bring back to Turkey the remains of Talat Pasha, assassinated by Armenians in Berlin in 1921 in retaliation for his role in the Armenian genocide. See Rıfat Bali , “Talat Paşa'nın Kemiklerini Mi? Nazi Fırınları Mı?” (Talat Pasha's bones or Nazi ovens?) Toplumsal Tarih 150 (June 2006): 42–47 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar]; and idem, “Sachsenhausen Temerküz Kampı’nın Türk Ziyaretçileri,” Toplumsal Tarih 151 (July 2006): 38–43 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar].

57 For a history of this group, see Marc David Baer , The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010) [Google Scholar].

58 Vedat Nedim Tör , Yıllar Böyle Geçti (Years went by like that), 2d ed. (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi, 2010 [1976]), 11–13 [Google Scholar]; Mete Tunçay, Türkiye'de Sol Akımlar (1908–1925) (The left movement in Turkey), vol. 1 (Istanbul: İletişim, 2009 [1967]), 785–89. On the history of Turkish communism from 1920–1926, see also Y. Doğan Çetinkaya and M. Görkem Doğan , “TKP'nin Sosyalizmi (1920–1990),” Modern Türkiye'de Siyasi Düşünce, vol. 8, Sol, Murat Gültekingil , ed., 2d ed. (Istanbul: İletişim, 2008), 275–302 [Google Scholar].

59 Results of the election to the board, 17 Mar. 1930, Landesarchiv Berlin B Rep. 042, Nr. 26602, “Türkischer Club e.V.”

60 Landesarchiv Berlin B Rep. 042, Nr. 26815/2 “türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland in Berlin e.V.,” reports of annual meetings and elections to the board from 1927 to 1942.

61 On the life of Hamid Hugo Marcus, see Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa:—Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der als “Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung zur Verbreitung islamischen Wissens” bekannten internationalen islamischen Gemeinschaft, Zusammengestellt und bearbeitet von Manfred Backhausen (Wembley, UK: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Publications, 2008), 110–19 [Google Scholar].

62 See David Motadel , “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit-Das soziokulturelle milieu der muslimischen Minderheit in Berlin, 1918–1939,” in José Brunner und Shai Lavi , eds., Juden und Muslime in Deutschland: Recht, Religion, Identität, Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 37 (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2009), 103–21 [Google Scholar].

63 The burned synagogue remained a towering ruin until the late 1950s when it was torn down and only the original arch above the doorway was incorporated into the Jewish Community Center inaugurated on the site in 1959. See Esther Slevogt , “Aufgebaut werden durch dich die Trümmer der Vergangenheit”: Das jüdische Gemeindehaus in der Fasanenstrasse, Jüdische Miniaturen: Spektrum jüdischen Lebens, Band 88, Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin Centrum Judaicum (Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2009) [Google Scholar].

64 As Nazi troops occupied France, Poland, Russia, and the Crimea, the SS and Gestapo sought instruction on whether to persecute the roughly ten thousand “non-Jewish people of Jewish belief” they discovered. Officials at the Reich Office of Genealogy (Reichssippenamt) of the Interior Ministry, responsible for determining the “Aryanness” of peoples, sought scholarly opinion, not always respected, on the racial origin of the Karaites, Mountain Jews of the Caucasus, and Krimchak Jews of the Crimea. Their opinions could be crucial, since Jews considered Turkic in origin, and not Semitic, and who had not intermarried with Jews, were usually spared the misery of the Shoah. The Karaites were generally considered to share only beliefs in common with Jews, and were spared, for example, by the SS in the Crimea, whereas the Krimchaks were murdered. According to a 1942 letter from the Semiticist Dr. Holz, he and another Semiticist, Dr. Kuhn, had discussed the origin of the Karaites in Stuttgart in the summer of 1942. Dr. Kuhn argued that it is most likely that the Karaites were people of Turko-Tatar descent who were converted by Jewish missionaries, did not intermarry with Jews, and therefore had very little “Jewish blood” and were not Jews. He pointed to the similarity of the Mountain Jews of the Caucasus, a Caucasian people that had converted to Judaism, and the Crimean Jews known as Krimchaks, a Turkestani people that had become Jewish. None of the three, Karaite, Mountain Jews, nor Krimchaks, he argued, were Jewish by race. He added that at present East European Jews falsely presented themselves as non-Jewish, reasoning that they were descendants of the Turko-Tatar Khazars who converted to Judaism in the ninth century. According to Dr. Kuhn, however, the Khazars themselves so intermarried with Jews, and had such a high proportion of Jewish blood, that one could not distinguish in his day between the descendants of the Khazars and the East European Jews. Bundesarchiv Berlin, Lichterfelde, Reichssippenamt R39/152, “Karaim.”

65 Turkey signed a friendship treaty with Britain and France on 19 October 1939, and a friendship treaty with Germany on 18 June 1941. By summer 1941, Turkey had become “a neutral buffer state encircled by the Near and Middle East secondary theater of war, which kept the opposing armed forces apart.” Karl Heinz Roth , “Berlin-Ankara-Baghdad: Franz von Papen and German Near East Policy during the Second World War,” in Wolfgang Schwanitz , ed., Germany and the Middle East, 1871–1945 (Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert: 2004), 183, 186 [Google Scholar].

66 See Baer, The Dönme, 155–83.

67 Ibid., 223–35.

68 Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 113.

69 All quotes come from documents contained in the following file: Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts, Inland II A/B 70/4 Akten, betreffend: Judenfrage in der Türkei vom 1941–1944, Bd. 2, R 99447 (hereafter: Judenfrage in der Türkei). Most of these documents are translated, although with mistakes, in Rıfat Bali , “The Nazi Perceptions of the Dönme,” in A Scapegoat for All Seasons: The Dönmes or Crypto-Jews of Turkey (Istanbul: The Isis Press, 2008), 213–22 [Google Scholar]. For more on von Papen (1879–1969), the former Chancellor (1932), Vice-Chancellor (1933–1934), and Ambassador to Austria (1934–1938), see Franz Müller , Ein “Rechtskatholik” zwischen Kreuz und Hakenkreuz: Franz von Papen als Sonderbevollmächtiger Hitlers in Wien 1934–1938 (Berlin: Peter Lang, 1990) [Google Scholar]; Joachim Fest , The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership, Michael Bullock , trans. (New York: DaCapo Press, 1999), 151–62 [Google Scholar]; Hermann Graml , Zwischen Stresemann und Hitler: die Aussenpolitik der Prasidialkabinette Bruning, Papen und Schleicher (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2001) [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar]; Marianne Thoms , Vom Herrenreiter zum Steigbügelhalter Franz von Papen (Karlsruhe: Universitätsbibliothek, 2004) [Google Scholar]; Karl Heinz Roth , “Berlin-Ankara-Baghdad: Franz von Papen and German Near East Policy during the Second World War,” in Wolfgang Schwanitz , ed., Germany and the Middle East, 1871–1945 (Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert: 2004), 181–214 [Google Scholar].

70 Karl Heinz Roth, “Berlin-Ankara-Baghdad,” 187.

71 Judenfrage in der Türkei; Quoted in Bali, Scapegoat, 216.

72 Ibid.

73 Ibid., 218.

74 Ibid., 219.

75 Ibid.

76 Ibid., 220.

77 Von Thadden died in a traffic accident in 1964. See Wolfgang Benz , “Thadden, Eberhard von (1909–1964),” in Lexikon des Holocaust (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2002) [Google Scholar]; Hans-Jürgen Döscher , SS und Auswärtiges Amt im Dritten Reich: Diplomatie im Schatten der “Endlösung” (Berlin: Ullstein, 1991) [Google Scholar]; and Sebastian Weitkamp , Braune Diplomaten: Horst Wagner und Eberhard von Thadden als Funktionäre der “Endlösung” (Bonn: Dietz, 2008) [Google Scholar].

78 Judenfrage in der Türkei notes dated 29 Oct. 1943, and 19 Nov. 1943, quoted in Bali, Scapegoat, 220 and 221, respectively.

79 Judenfrage in der Türkei note dated 21 Jan. 1944, quoted in Bali, Scapegoat, 221.

80 Landesarchiv Berlin, A Rep. 342–02, Nr. 28197, “Orak,” doc. 6. Fazli Taylan registered his business with the Charlottenburg District Court on 2 June 1948. Documents 9 and 10 in the same dossier were signed by Fazli Taylan on 12 Mar. 1948, and 9 Feb. 1946, respectively. He passed away 22 May 1976. See his death announcement in Milliyet, 28 May 1976: 7.

81 Orak-Çekiç was also the name of a Communist weekly established in Turkey in 1925. See Tunçay, Türkiye'de Sol Akımlar 1: 765–67; Y. Doğan Çetinkaya and M. Görkem Doğan, “TKP'nin Sosyalizmi,” 299. The Association of Turkish Students moved to 197/8 in 1934, the Turkish Club and Chamber of Commerce as of 1935.

82 Landesarchiv Berlin, A Rep. 342–02, Nr. 28197, “Orak,” doc. 3.

83 Ibid., doc. 6.

84 See the Linke-Hofmann ad in 10 Yıl Jahre Almanya da Türk Ticaret Odası/Türkische Handelskammer für Deutschland, Çıkaran Almanya da Türk Ticaret Odası, Berlin/Herausgegeben von der Türkischen Handelskammer für Deutschland zu Berlin (Berlin: Buchdruckerei Adolf Uebe, 1938), 259.

85 For Krupp and Henschel advertisements, see ibid., 250 and 253, respectively.

86 This claim has been made in Naim Güleryüz , The History of the Turkish Jews (Istanbul: n.p., 1992) [Google Scholar]; Stanford Shaw , Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey's Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933–1945 (New York: New York University Press, 1993) [Google Scholar]; Arnold Reisman , Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Ataturk's Vision (New York: New Academia Publishing, 2006) [Google Scholar]; idem, Shoah: Turkey, the US, and the UK (New York: BookSurge Publishing, 2009) [Google Scholar]; and idem, An Ambassador and a Mensch: The Story of a Turkish Diplomat in Vichy France (New York: CreatSpace, 2010) [Google Scholar].

87 Kader Konuk , East West Mimesis: Auerbach in Turkey (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010), 49 [Google Scholar].

88 Ibid., 81–101. İzzet Bahar also finds that Turkey's actions regarding these ninety-five German-Jewish academics were motivated by state interest in improving its educational system rather than humanitarianism, or an intention to help Jews. İzzet Bahar , “German or Jewish, Humanity or Raison d'Etat: The German Scholars in Turkey, 1933–1952,” Shofar 29, 1 (2010): 48–72 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar].

89 Guttstadt, Die Türkei, 365; Konuk, East West Mimesis, 98.

90 Of Turkish Jews in France, eighty were saved by Turkish diplomats, five hundred were repatriated to Turkey, and two thousand were sent to Auschwitz. Guttstadt, Die Türkei, 402–7. Most Turkish Jews of France who survived the Holocaust did so with the help of Turkish authorities. This demonstrates that they had the ability to save them when it was desired in Turkey. But most of the time they did not act, and the Jews, whether of Turkish or French citizenship or stateless, were deported, never to return. There is no evidence for the supposed heroic action of the “Turkish Schindler” of Marseille. Ibid., 375–76. No Jewish eyewitnesses or Turkish documents corroborate Necdet Kent's account of his supposedly saving trainloads of Jews. The Consul on Rhodes saved forty-two Jews, but 1,820 were sent to Auschwitz. Ibid., 465–66.

91 Șimşir, Türk Yahudiler II, 12–13.

92 Guttstadt, “Sepharden an der Spree,” 229.

93 Guttstadt, Die Türkei, 312–13.

94 See Atina Grossmann , Jews, Germans, and Allies: Close Encounters in Occupied Germany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), 88–129 [Google Scholar].

95 Ibid., 106.

96 Behar, “Versprich mir,” 211. Behar passed away in Berlin at the age of eighty-seven, on 22 April 2011. Detlef David Kauschke, “Isaak Behar ist tot: Nachruf auf den Gemeindeältesten,” jüdische Allgemeine, 27 Apr. 2011. See

97 Atina Grossmann, “From Victims to ‘Homeless Foreigners’: Jewish Survivors in Postwar Germany,” in Rita Chin et al., eds., After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe, 55–79.

98 Marcy Brink-Danan , Jewish Life in 21st-Century Turkey (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012), 63–82 [Google Scholar].

99 Ibid., 63–82; Konuk, East West Mimesis, 81–101.

100 Brink-Danan, Jewish Life, 36. For an analysis of the tension between participation in the public hagiographic discourse promoting Turkey as a land of tolerance and how Turkish Jews perceive their history and lives in private, see ibid., 33–62, and Marc David Baer , “Turkish Jews Rethink ‘500 Years of Brotherhood and Friendship,’” Turkish Studies Association Bulletin 24, 2 (2000): 63–73 [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar].

101 Naim Güleryüz, Foreword, “History of the Turkish Jews,”, official website of The Quincentennial Foundation.

102 Brink-Danan, Jewish Life, 35–55.

103 Interfilm Istanbul, 2011. “Mutlulukla biten tek soykırım filmi: Türk Pasaportu,” 1 Aug. 2011, euronewstr. The film narrates how Turkish ambassadors in France saved Jews, assumed to be French citizens, by granting them Turkish citizenship, providing Turkish passports, and sending them by train to Turkey. Since all the Jews in the film speak French, the viewer would never imagine that the Jews were already Turks.

104 Recently some in its intellectual class have come to terms with the tragic fate of the Armenians. See Ron Grigor Suny and Fatma Müge Göçek , “Introduction: Leaving It to the Historians,” in Ron Grigor Suny , Fatma Müge Göçek , and Norman Naimark , eds., A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 3–14 [Google Scholar]; Fatma Müge Göçek, “Reading Genocide: Turkish Historiography on 1915,” in ibid., 42–54; and Taner Akçam , A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006) [Google Scholar]. On debating Ottoman tolerance, see Marc Baer , Ussama Makdisi , and Andrew Shryock , “Tolerance and Conversion in the Ottoman Empire: A Conversation,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 51, 4 (Oct. 2009): 927–40 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [CJO Abstract]  [Google Scholar].

105 Georgi, Entliehene Erinnerung, 10; Chin and Fehrenbach, “Introduction: What's Race Got to Do With It?,” 22–23; Margalit, “On Being Other,” 211; Damani Partridge , “Holocaust Mahnmal (Memorial): Monumental Memory amidst Contemporary Race,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 52, 4 (2010): 821–22 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar].

106 Dan Diner , “Nation, Migration, and Memory: On Historical Concepts of Citizenship,” Constellations 4, 3 (1998): 293–306 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar], here 303, quoted and discussed in Michael Rothberg and Yasemin Yildiz , “Memory Citizenship: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary Germany,” Parallax 17, 4 (2011): 35–36 [OpenURL Query Data]  [CrossRef]  [Google Scholar]. See further examples of this sentiment in Rita Chin and Heide Fehrenbach, “German Democracy and the Question of Difference, 1945–1995,” in Rita Chin et al., eds., After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe, 120.

107 Margalit, “On Being Other,” 213.

108 Until 2000, “guest” workers and their descendants had no rights to citizenship, for they could not claim German ethnicity. Rita Chin, “Guest Worker Migration and the Unexpected Return of Race,” in Rita Chin et al., eds., After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe, 82.

109 Chin and Fehrenbach, “Introduction: What's Race Got to Do With It?,” 22–23; Partridge, “Holocaust Mahnmal (Memorial),” 833–38.

110 Esra Özyürek, “Making Germans out of Muslims: Holocaust Education and Anti-Semitism Prevention Trainings for Immigrants,” Presentation, Center for Research on Anti-Semitism, Technical University Berlin, 1 Nov. 2010. German Turkish youth are closely monitored during commemoration activities. Unacceptable responses to the horror—not crying while visiting a concentration camp, not being able to bear watching a Holocaust film—are seen as proof they are incapable of mourning the victims of Nazism, which confirms German Turks' foreignness and exclusion from the German “community of memory.” See also Georgi, Entliehene Erinnerung, 152–53, 271–72.

111 Leslie Adelson's concept of “touch,” in The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature, is discussed in Partridge, “Holocaust Mahnmal (Memorial),” 838–41. For an example of an intercultural Holocaust curriculum that includes other episodes of genocide and ethnic cleansing and is grounded in a pedagogy of human rights, see Georgi, Entliehene Erinnerung, 315–22.

112 Michael Rothberg , Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), 1–7, 18–20 [Google Scholar].

113 Rothberg and Yildiz, “Memory Citizenship,” 33.

114 Şenocak and Tulay, “Germany-Home for Turks?,” 2.