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Germany

German Jews elect new leader

Germany's Central Council of Jews has appointed Dieter Graumann as its new head. He is the first president from the post-Holocaust generation.

Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews

Graumann was born in 1950 and grew up in Frankfurt

Dieter Graumann has been elected as the new head of the Central Council of Jews, the main voice of Germany's Jewish community.

The 60-year-old Graumann, formerly the vice-president of the organization, will replace Charlotte Knobloch who is retiring at the age of 78. Born in Israel in 1950, Graumann grew up in Frankfurt and is the first president not to have lived through the Holocaust.

Graumann, who said he was "moved and touched" by the appointment, said he wanted to bring "fresh air" into the council. In a speech on Sunday, he said the Jewish community faced great challenges and warned that despite a new pluralism, the community should not be split.

'A turning point'

Norbert Lammert, president of the German parliament, the Bundestag, said the election of Graumann represented "a turning point" for the council. He said that since the head of the council will be the first belonging to the post-Holocaust generation, he expected new, broader perspective.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle congratulated Graumann on his appointment, at the same time thanking Knobloch for her "excellent work" in supporting the revival of Jewish life in Germany. Knobloch has been head of the council since 2006.

Replacing Graumann as vice president is Salomon Korn.

Author: Martin Kuebler (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Ben Knight

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