Woman leads Jewish organization in Germany

Charlotte Knobloch, 73, Holocaust survivor from Munich , was elected head of main Jewish organization in Germany . She became first female leader of this union. Former leader Paul Spiegel died April 30 of cancer after leading the Central Council of Jews since 2000.

Knobloch, who served as council vice president since 1996, is widely considered a transitional candidate for the organization.

Born in 1932, Knobloch was hidden by her family's Catholic housekeeper during World War II. Her grandmother was killed in Auschwitz, and her father survived the war as a slave laborer.

The Central Council of Jews is the main organization representing Germany's Jewish community of some 100,000. Knobloch is also the leader of Munich's Jewish organization.

"Ms. Knobloch is an experienced president of a big Jewish community and she is very, very assertive," Michael Fuerst, the president of the Jewish community in the state of Lower Saxony said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio Wednesday. "She has a very, very close relationship to cultural life in Judaism and to Jewish religion."

Dieter Graumann, a 54-year-old financial expert from Frankfurt , was elected vice president to replace Knobloch, reports the AP.


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