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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021: Holocaust survivors who built /changed Europe – Charlotte Knobloch

Charlotte Knobloch survived the Holocaust in hiding with a Christian family on a farm in northern Bavaria, Germany. After the war, she and her husband, a Holocaust survivor as well, originally planned to emigrate to the US, but they abandoned their plans and stayed in Germany.

Decades later, Dr. Knobloch went on to lead the Jewish community, heading the Munich Jewish community since 1985 and also serving as the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany from 2006-2010. It was the first time a woman was elected to lead the organization. She dedicated her efforts to the revival of Jewish life in Germany. Among her major achievements was the opening in 2006-2007 of Munich’s main new Ohel Jakob synagogue, the community center, as well as the Jewish museum. In 2008, Dr. Knobloch was awarded the Grand Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. She has served as a Vice President of the World Jewish Congress since 2005, and since 2013, as the WJC’s Commissioner for Holocaust Memory.

Despite the rising tide of antisemitism in Germany and Europe, and the threats the community faces, Dr. Knobloch is optimistic: “I have great faith in young people, and I mean both Jewish and non-Jewish. I think they will take on the responsibility, and that is ultimately all that matters.”

Photo © Shahar Azran