Hamburg, Germany – After an internal feud, Hamburg’s Jewish community has expelled its former chairman, telling him that he is not really Jewish, the official, Andreas C. Wankum, said Sunday.
Wankum, 53, told the German Press Agency dpa he had received a letter from the new leadership telling him his membership was terminated with immediate effect because he had ‘misrepresented’ himself.
Confirming a report to appear tomorrow in the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, Wankum said, ‘Religious questions are being improperly mixed up with political issues within the community here so as to get rid of someone with critical opinions.’
Businessman Wankum, was Jewish chairman 2003-2007 and was also a member of Germany’s Central Council of Jews.
Spiegel said his opponents had found documentation about the Wankum family in the city’s public archives which indicated that under Jewish law, Wankum was not Jewish by birth.
The report said the community further contended that a confirmation of Wankum’s Jewish identity by a rabbi in 2000 had been based on unreliable documents and testimonials.