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The first Jewish Miss Germany contestant that wasn't

Miss Universe contestant, Miss Germany Valeria Bystritskaia poses for a picture during a visit to the nonprofit Catholic organization, Mercy Alliance, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday Sept. 1, 2011.
AP Photo/Andre Penner
Not only are there two Jewish Miss Germany contestants, there are also two Miss Germany competitions

Last week German-Austrian student Tamar Morali appeared on i24NEWS’ Daily Dose program where was trumpeted -- like in several other media outlets -- as the first Jewish woman to get within shot of being crowned Miss Germany.

However on Saturday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency unearthed another German beauty queen, who was crowned Miss Germany in 2011, and is Jewish.

The story of Valeria Bystritskaia’s previous win was slow to come to light because she was never asked about or disclosed her Jewish identity during the course of the competition, she told the JTA.

Adding another layer of confusion, the two women competed in different competitions.

Morali is hoping to take the tiara in a national Miss Germany competition, whereas Bystritskaia entered a separate Miss Germany competition that is affiliated with the world-famous Miss Universe, and she later went on to compete in the global contest.

Both women even lived in the same German city, Karlsruhe, although Bystritskaia moved there as a child from Russia -- to escape anti-Semitism, she said -- and Morali relocated from Germany to Vienna as a child because her parents wanted her to grow up in city with a large Jewish community.

Despite Bystrtskaia’s Jewish heritage not surfacing during the competition, she still copped an anti-Semitic backlash online.

“The worst was someone who wrote ‘Hitler forgot about her and her family,’” she told the JTA.

“It was that reaction, in fact, that convinced me that I couldn’t live as a Jew in Germany,” she was quoted as saying. “My title period ended in 2012, and by 2013, I had moved to America.”

The 31 year-old has lived in New York since 2013 and still pursued modelling.

Morali, who says she was told by organizers that she is the first Jewish contestant to enter their competition, is currently waiting the results of online polling to see if she will make the cut as one of the last finalists in the national Miss Germany contest.

She is currently studying at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlyia.


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