Dieter Graumann, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, announced he won’t seek a second term leading the umbrella organization that oversees the country’s various Jewish groups, the AP reports. When Graumann, 64, assumed the role in 2010, he became the group’s eighth leader and, notably, the first who was born after the Holocaust. The organization’s current vice president, Josef Schuster, will run for the position.
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” Graumann said in a statement published on the organization’s website. He cited the extraordinary amount of time the job—which is voluntary and not a full-time position—required.
The work at the Central Council has always been very close to my heart and I have always been committed to and passionate about it. But it is also an honorary office which demanded an exceptional amount of energy and time – particularly so in 2014, when I effectively also had to take over the day-to-day management. So after four years I am looking forward to having more time for my family and my private life.
Graumann had certainly been working overtime in recent months, as tensions fueled by the Israeli operation in Gaza sprung up across Europe. In Berlin in July, at the height of the Gaza war, an anti-Israel protest quickly devolved into anti-Semitism, with demonstrators chanting “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight” in German.
Speaking at a Sept. 14 rally against anti-Semitism, Graumann told the crowd, “It was beyond my wildest imaginings that we here in Germany would ever have to gather to protest against anti-Semitism together. But now that it has become necessary, we stand united and resolute here to show that there can be no place for anti-Semitism.”