Country Listing

Germany Table of Contents



When Hitler came to power in 1933, approximately 600,000 Jews lived in Germany, some of whom were among the most prominent members of society. Over the next twelve years, most fled or were murdered, along with millions of East European Jews, Slavs, and other nationalities. As of January 1992, seventy-six Jewish congregations and Land associations had about 34,000 members, with the largest communities located in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several thousand Soviet Jews of German ancestry took advantage of liberalized Soviet emigration policies and German naturalization laws and resettled in the Federal Republic. However, since unification in 1990 and the outbreak of radical right-wing violence, some in the Jewish community, remembering similar events in the 1930s, have left. Although most hate-crimes and violence have been aimed at foreign workers and asylum-seekers, there have been scattered incidents of attacks on Jewish synagogues and memorials.


Following the influx of foreign laborers in the 1960s and early 1970s, Islam established a religious presence in Germany, making it the religion with the country's third largest membership. As of 1994, approximately 2 million Muslims resided in Germany. Most of the Muslims are either Turkish, Kurdish, Iranian, or Palestinian. Additional Muslims have entered the country as refugees, fleeing the ethnic and religious conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Data as of August 1995