Posted Saturday, November 2, 2002

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 The Jews have made us suffer enough. -- Angry Berliners


November 2, 2002

Berliners protest move to put 'Jewish' back into street name

Berlin (dpa) - Crowds of angry residents in Berlin Friday protested attempts to return a road to its pre-Nazi-era name of Jewish Street, with several shouting, "The Jews have made us suffer enough."

The protest began peacefully enough Friday afternoon when about 40 people turned out to protest the changing of Kinkel Strasse to Jueden Strasse, which had been approved by the Berlin city council.

Local residents, particularly several retailers, said they had not been adequately informed about the name change and they resented the inconvenience of changing business cards and advertisements.

The protest turned ugly, however, when representatives of Berlin's Jewish community arrived for the formal name-changing ceremonies. Then there were chants of "You Jews have had enough say," and "The Jews have made us suffer enough"

Jewish Community Chairman Alexander Brenner attempted to fend off the attacks as TV camera crews filmed the scene, but as the vehemence rose, he responded, "You people are siding yourselves with the Nazis with such remarks," and turned and left.

Afterward, several retailers said the confrontation had been taken over by neo-Nazis.

"I heard someone shout terrible things at him," one retailer told SFB television. "I heard someone say, 'You Jews are to blame for the German plight,' and that is a horrible thing to hear. I was absolutely appalled."

Other businesspeople said they had come to protest the fact that the street name was being changed at all and were not concerned that it involved a Jewish name.

"I've had a business on this street for 39 years and object to having to change all my business cards and make new advertisements now," one business owner said. "I don't care what the city council has decided the new name should be; I just want it to remain as it has been."

Jueden Strasse was the name of the road until the Nazis changed it in the 1930s to an Aryan name. After World War II, it was changed to Kinkel Strasse in honour of a resistance fighter.

The move to return the street its historical name came after the Social Democrats gained control of the Berlin city government last year.

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