Charlotte Knobloch

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Charlotte Knobloch

Charlotte Knobloch (born October 29, 1932 in Munich as Charlotte Neuland) was elected President of Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) in June, 2006, and served in that role until 2010. She is also Vice President of the European Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress.[1] She has for many years been one of the primary leaders of the Jewish community in Munich, as President of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern since 1985.

History[edit]

Charlotte Knobloch was born in Munich, in 1932, into a well-to-do Jewish family of lawyers. She is the daughter of Munich lawyer and Bavarian senator Fritz Neuland. Her mother Margarethe was born a Christian, but converted to Judaism upon marrying Neuland. However, her parents divorced in 1936. She was subsequently raised by her grandmother Albertine Neuland. Upon the arrest of her father, Knobloch recalls being saved by the former housekeeper of the Neuland family, that woman took her in her hand and brought her to her Christian family in Franconia. From 1942 onward, she lived with Catholic farmers in Franconia, who pretended she was their own illegitimate daughter.

Charlotte Neuland married the late Samuel Knobloch in 1951, and has three children.

One of her achievements is the Jewish Centre (Jüdisches Zentrum) in Munich, with a new principal Ohel Jakob synagogue[2] and a Jewish museum. She was made an honorary citizen of Munich in 2005.

Knobloch is especially concerned with the problem of antisemitism in Eastern Europe. In the World Jewish Congress she works to promote the German-speaking Jewish communities and to build bridges to Jewish communities in other countries.

In January 2009, she decided that the Central Council was temporarily breaking off contact with the Roman Catholic Church because of the lifting of the excommunication of controversial bishop Richard Williamson.[3]

Biography[edit]

The book, Charlotte Knobloch - Ein Portrait, by Michael Schleicher was published in 2009, ISBN 978-3-937090-32-0. The TV film Annas Heimkehr is based on Charlotte Knobloch's life during World War II.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charlotte Knobloch, WJC Vice-President - World Jewish Congress website
  2. ^ The synagogue was opened on November 9, 2006, the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht. As reported at the time, Knobloch "choked back tears as she recalled how, as a frightened six year-old, she had clutched her father’s hand and run past burning Jewish shops in Munich on November 9, 1938. 'Now I have just handed the key to this new synagogue to a child who is the same age as I was on that night,' she said. 'The circle has been closed.' Robert Boyes, "New synagogue a symbol if 'hope'". The Times (London), November 10, 2006.
  3. ^ Jewish council in Germany breaks ties with Vatican
  4. ^ "Trivia for Annas Heimkehr". IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Paul Spiegel
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Dieter Graumann