German Jews ‘living in fear’ as antisemitic attacks soar

Nearly 1,000 incidents related to the October 7 invasion massacres have been documented


Antisemitic incidents in Germany have skyrocketed since the murderous Hamas attacks in Israel.

Nearly 1,000 incidents related to the October 7 invasion massacres have been documented in Germany, averaging 29 per day, a 320 per cent increase from the 2022 annual average.

The upsurge was revealed by the Research and Information Centre on Antisemitism (RIAS), which monitors, documents and analyses incidents to raise public awareness.

Jews in Germany are now facing a harrowing new normal, with antisemitic episodes infiltrating their daily lives, from local neighbourhoods to workplaces and universities.

In a chilling example, two men brazenly invaded an Israeli’s flat in Giessen just to remove an Israeli flag.

University campuses have become hotbeds of anti-Israeli propaganda, with 37 incidents including graffiti, gatherings and distribution of hateful flyers.

Benjamin Steinitz, RIAS managing director, said: “If Jewish students stay away from campus out of concern about antisemitic experiences, their fellow students — but also the university administrations and organised student bodies — have a duty to take decisive action.”

He also emphasised the media’s responsibility in scrutinising war-related information to prevent spreading Hamas propaganda.

Hanna Veiler, president of the Jewish Student Union Germany (JSUD), echoed the sentiment, saying, “It is of very great importance that we can refer to the RIAS monitoring report in the fight against antisemitism. The figures it documents are alarming, but not surprising.”

Prof Walther Rosenthal, president of the German Rectors’ Conference, stressed the urgency of the situation. “The drastic increase in antisemitic incidents must alarm society as a whole,” he said. “Universities are centres of democratic culture, places of dialogue, and sites of diversity.”

Marina Chernivsky, managing director of OFEK, a counselling centre for victims of antisemitic violence and discrimination, highlighted the growing visibility of antisemitic ideology and the increasing number of people seeking advice.

“Antisemitic sentiment is now expressed directly and acted out in a targeted manner,” she said.

The mayor of what has been dubbed a “no-go” area for Berlin’s Jews, says Jewish students in the city’s schools are feeling let down, abandoned and desperate.

Martin Hikel is mayor of the Arab-dominated Berlin district of Neukölln, which recently gained notoriety when Samidoun, a pro-Hamas group which has since been outlawed in Germany, celebrated the October 7 attacks by distributing sweets and pastries.

In a speech at the Anne Frank School, Hikel said there was intense desperation being felt by young Jewish people at educational institutions throughout Berlin.

“Our Jewish youth are in an emotional lockdown, feeling isolated and endangered right in their classrooms,” he said.

An audio recording obtained by the local newspaper, the Berliner Zeitung, was played. Students were heard applauding extreme anti-Israel sentiments, yet showing indifference or even hostility towards discussions about Hamas terrorism.

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