The notion that it is unethical to purchase a German made car (or any German-made products) was especially pervasive in the years following the Shoah. Understandably – and appropriately – this was a visceral and emotional response within the Jewish community (and beyond) at a time when other responses to the tragedy of the Shoah had not yet emerged. For many, it would be unfathomable to buy any item that was tainted with German origin or manufacture. And of course, there are those who continue to feel this way to this day.
And, though the sting of the Holocaust will never be completely healed – as we are bidden to sanctify the memory of our murdered brothers and sisters – we also acknowledge that the world continues to progress and change, and that the Germany of today, and its people, is not responsible for perpetrating the violence and destruction of the past. Though it is completely reasonable for anyone to retain the instinctive hostility and refusal for such purchases, I don’t believe that we can suggest that our tradition mandates this reaction.
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