New arrivals Just over 30 per cent of Berliners are not Germans. Turks make up the city’s largest non-German population. After the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, businesses in West Berlin could not employ East Berliners, so they used guest workers ( Gastarbeiter ). Because of war and the breakup of European states in the 1990s and 2000s, people from Poland, the former USSR, the former Yugoslavia, and other South European countries arrived. The mid-2000s saw the arrival of Syrian refugees as well.
This grocery shop has signs in Arabic and German. Different nationalities in Berlin have introduced new foods (see page 32).
Berlin’s Jews Jews have lived in Berlin for hundreds of years. In the 17th century Jewish victims of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe fled to Berlin. By the 1930s about 170,000 lived in the city. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Jews were dismissed from their jobs and banned from mixing with non-Jews. Then, on 9 November 1938, the Nazis launched an all-out attack, destroying Jewish shops and synagogues . This is known as Kristallnacht (“crystal night”) because of all the broken glass in the streets. Loss and renewal Many Jews left Germany during the Nazi era. Millions more died in concentration camps . By the end of the World War II only about 5,000 Jews remained in Berlin. The city’s present Jewish population of about 10,500 is the largest in Germany. In recent years many Jewish immigrants have come to Berlin from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Israel among other places.
Berliners gaze in disbelief at the debris of a Jewish shop after Kristallnacht . The swastika, emblem of the Nazi Party, can be seen in the background. ⌂
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