German police raid homes of ‘antisemitic’ activity suspects

One person reportedly posted a clown with the words 'Gas the Jews' in a WhatsApp chat


BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 01: A Bundespolizei police officer stands next to her K-9 unit dog named Cooper at Tegel airport on August 1, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The topic of today's German federal Cabinet meeting was the replacement of the entire leadership of the German federal police, the Bundespolizei. News emerged on July 28 that the incumbent Federal Police President, Matthias Seeger, was to be fired along with his two deputies, Wolfgang Lohmann and Michael Frehse. On July 30, German Interior Minister Friedrich confirmed that Seeger was sent into retirement, while Lohmann and Frehse were shifted into other responsibilities. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

German authorities launched a major raid this week on the homes of individuals suspected of anti-Jewish activity.

The operation, led by the Bavarian police and public prosecutor's office, targeted 17 suspects accused of inciting hatred against Jews, using symbols of unconstitutional and terrorist organisations, or condoning criminal activities.

The suspects, comprising 15 men and two women aged between 18 and 62, are alleged to have celebrated the Hamas terrorist attacks and spread hatred against Jewish communities.

The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) has been investigating these individuals, especially focusing on their statements following October 7. The LKA has referred to this operation as an “Action Day Plus against antisemitism”.

Authorities in Munich and its surrounding areas were at the forefront of this coordinated operation.

The police executed searches at multiple properties belonging to the nine suspects in and near Munich.

Additional searches took place in Füssen, Kaufbeuren, Passau, Fürstenfeldbruck, Berchtesgadener Land, Coburg, Aschaffenburg, and Haßberge. Mobile phones and laptops were confiscated.

Shocking examples of the antisemitic sentiments that triggered the raids have emerged.

One defendant reportedly shared a sticker in a WhatsApp group chat, featuring a clown with the words “Gas the Jews”.

Another individual, a German-Turkish national, posted on social media that “the Jewish sons” deserved nothing less than slaughter and extermination, concluding with “Free Palestine.”

A Turkish national posted an image of Hitler shortly after the Hamas attack, accompanied by the statement: “I could kill all the Jews, but I left some alive to show you why I killed them.”

This post included a Palestinian flag, the words “Free Palestine”, and a victory sign emoji.

Michael Weinzierl, the Bavarian police commissioner against hate crime, said antisemitism had been on the rise in Germany since the coronavirus era, and that it has become a part of daily life for many Jews in the country.

“We want to send a clear signal both as the judiciary and as the police and also prosecute criminal antisemitism on this special day,” he said.

“Unfortunately, antisemitism shapes the everyday lives of many Jews in Germany.

“Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel also has an impact on their lives in Germany.

“Although there has been a new wave of antisemitism on Bavaria’s streets since then, the crimes that have already been committed must not be allowed to fade into the background.”

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