Holocaust survivor elected as German Jewish leader
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A Holocaust survivor was on Wednesday elected president of the Central Council of German Jews, the main Jewish organization representing more than 100,000 Jews living in the country.

Charlotte Knobloch, who narrowly survived the Nazi era by hiding at a farm in northern Bavaria, has been outspoken in favour of banning right-wing extremist parties in Germany, including the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).

The 73-year-old woman also criticized Berlin for not being forceful enough in its fight against neo-Nazi extremism. The German-Jewish weekly Juedische Allgemeine described Kobloch as “a straight-talking woman.”

Knobloch became vice president of the group in 1997, and will succeed Paul Spiegel, who died in April after a long battle with leukemia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Knobloch’s election, underlined her “active and tireless engagement”, and pledged cooperation with the council, said deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg.

When the council was founded in 1950, there were only 15,000 Jews left in Germany. Six million European Jews were killed in the Nazi Holocaust.