German Jews gain equal status as religious community
The Jewish community in Germany, now numbering some 100,000 persons, has been granted a legal status equal to that of the Roman Catholic and Evangelical (Protestant) churches. This qualifies the Jewish community to receive financial aid from the German government for its schools and social welfare agencies, as do the equivalent Christian bodies.
"This is a historic event," said Paul Spiegel, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. "That Jews live here once again in considerable numbers is a fact that those who returned after 1945 could hardly imagine." The Jewish community numbered only 30,000 as recently as 1990, but has been greatly strengthened by an influx of Jews from the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries. Prior to the Holocaust, there were an estimated 600,000 Jews in Germany.