"Talking Germany" – Host Peter Craven speaks with Charlotte Knobloch about "Stumbling Bocks," synagogues and what could be a fairy tale summer.
Charlotte Knobloch is the first woman to be elected President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. She is also likely to be the last Holocaust survivor to hold the office. Estimates indicate there are more than 200,000 Jews living in Germany. Just over half of them are members of around 100 Jewish communities across the country which are represented by Charlotte Knobloch's organization.
Charlotte Neuland was born in Munich on October 29, 1932. She survived the war because acquaintances of her parents took her into their own family and passed her off as their child. After the war, she met her husband Samuel Knobloch, and dedicated herself to starting her own family.
At the age of 53, she was elected to the board of the Israeli Cultural Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria ( IKG) in 1981 and became its president in 1984. KnobIoch came into the public eye in June 2006, when she was unanimously elected President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany after the death of her predecessor, Paul Spiegel. The emphases of her work are the integration of immigrants from eastern Europe and combating a growing German neo-Nazi movement.
After her work was criticized from within the ranks of the Central Council, Knobloch announced at the start of 2010 that she would not stand for re-election in an upcoming poll for the organization's presidency in November. She said it was time for a change of generations at the Central Council's helm.