German chancellor admits ‘many Jews do not feel safe in our country’

Speaking at the 70th anniversary event of the Central Council of Jews, Angela Merkel said the current situation in Germany ‘shames me deeply’


German chancellor Angela Merkel has said that “many Jews don’t feel safe and respected in our country, and it causes me great concern”.

Delivering a keynote speech at a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Central Council of Jews, she described modern antisemitism and racism as a “disgrace” which “shames me deeply”.

“Racism and antisemitism never disappeared, but for some time now they have become more visible and uninhibited,” Ms Merkel said, according to an AP report.

The chancellor said she recognised “how quickly words can become deeds”, pointing to last year’s antisemitic attack on a synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur.

Ms Merkel claimed education and dialogue were the best means of preventing hateful acts, but in cases where that is insufficient, the full force of the law must be applied.

She claimed the German government was taking steps to protect Jews, including improving security at Jewish facilities and appointing an antisemitism tsar.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany was formed in 1950 to represent the interests of Jews living in the country, and is affiliated to the World Jewish Congress.

At the same event, Council president Josef Schuster reportedly noted a rise in anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, which had resurfaced during the coronavirus pandemic. “The Nazis’ ideas have still not disappeared,” he said.

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