The allegations against the rector of the Potsdam Abraham Geiger College, Rabbi Walter Homolka, and against the training center itself are intensifying. As the “Spiegel” reports, sexual harassment is said to have been part of everyday life at the Potsdam training center for rabbis and cantors. In Jewish circles one speaks openly of the “Gay-ger-College”. A week ago, the “world” reported allegations against Homolka and his husband Hartmut Bomhoff for the first time. Bomhoff is said to have sent students photos of his erect penis.
It is now said that Homolka declared himself biased when a subsequent commission of inquiry was formed. Nevertheless, only people from his environment got into the commission. In the end, Bomhoff was dismissed from university service. According to Spiegel, homolka’s surroundings are reported as having “ruler airs, ruined careers and an atmosphere in which loyalty is more important than specialist knowledge”. Academic culture is suffering in Potsdam.
“When there are conflicts, people in Germany say it’s an internal Jewish problem, and nobody dares to say anything. Homolka takes advantage of this. This is how lawless zones are created,” the magazine quotes Homolka’s so-called “arch-opponent”, Rabbi Walter Rothschild. Homolka let his offices rest last Friday. He and his lawyer have not yet commented on the new allegations when asked.
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The Central Council of Jews in Germany is now also investigating the events. Brandenburg’s Research Minister Manja Schüle (SPD) is said to have known about the allegations since January 2022. After the first media reports a week ago, she campaigned for comprehensive clarification by the University of Potsdam. The university had already convened a six-person commission of inquiry in the spring.
When asked, Schüle’s spokesman said that the ministry had received the first indications from third parties about the Geiger College and Walter Homolka in mid-January. The department responsible then asked the University of Potsdam to clarify the allegations. “The minister was never involved in the process and only found out about it through the reports in Die Welt on May 6,” said the spokesman.