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'Don't wear kippahs in public' German Jews told

Community leader warns against 'showing your colours' after a wave of antisemitic attacks

    The leader of Germany's Jewish community has advised Jews to avoid wearing kippahs in public following antisemitic attacks.

    Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Berlin public radio that Jews should be careful in big cities, after two men wearing kippahs were assaulted.

    Mr Schuster said: "Defiantly showing your colours would in principle be the right way to go [to tackle anti-Semitism].

    "Nevertheless, I would advise individual people against openly wearing a kippah in big German cities.”

    He added that if Germans refused to stand up to antisemitism "our democracy would be at risk

    "This is not only about antisemitism - it goes along with racism, it goes along with xenophobia. You need a clear stop sign here."

    His recommendation to conceal Jewish identity comes ahead of a "Berlin Wears Kippah" solidarity march in the German capital on Wednesday.

    But Mr Schuster has been widely attacked for his statement.

    A spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism - the organisation which shared video of last week's attack on Facebook, said: "I used to always advise my Jewish friends and acquaintances not to wear a kippah so as not to show their Jewish identity. I changed my opinion.

    "We must take up this fight and be visible again in public."

    Some British Jewsh leaders condemned the idea that Jews should conceal their identity.

    Rabbi Herschel Gluck, the president of North-East London Shomrim, said he was shocked to hear about his statement.

    “Can you imagine a leader of the Black Community advising their members to bleach their skin before going out in the street,” he wrote on Facebook.

    “The Black community is much too intelligent and proud to appoint such a moron as a leader of their community!”

    Rabbi Gluck said he travels all over Germany “looking as I do” as a strictly Orthodox man and certainly intends to carrying on doing so for many more years.

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