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Thousands join German ‘kippah marches’ in solidarity with Jews

Jews and non-Jews respond to fears of rising antisemitism after community leader warns against 'showing your colours' in public

    A Muslim woman wears a kippah during the 'Berlin Wears Kippah’ solidarity march (Photo: Malte Lehming)
    A Muslim woman wears a kippah during the 'Berlin Wears Kippah’ solidarity march (Photo: Malte Lehming)

    Thousands of people across Germany have marched in solidarity with the country’s Jewish community amid fears of growing antisemitism.

    Earlier this week Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Berlin public radio that Jews should be careful in large German cities, advising against “openly wearing a kippah”.

    It came after two men wearing kippot were assaulted.

    Demonstrations attended by Jews and non-Jews were held in Erfurt, Potsdam and Cologne, with the largest taking place in Berlin.

    Non-Jews were seen wearing kippot in solidarity, while images of Muslim women wearing the head-coverings over their hijabs were widely shared on social media.

    Photographer Malte Lehming reported that activists in Berlin distributed thousands of kippahs as crowds gathered in the city's centre.

    Ahead of the ‘Berlin Wears Kippah’ march, Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told der Tagesspiegel: “We must never allow antisemitism to become commonplace in Germany again.”

    The newspaper, which has a circulation of around 100,000, printed a kippah in Wednesday’s paper that readers could cut out and wear to the rallies.

    Footage of the attack last week shows the attacker shouting "yahudi", the Arabic word for Jew, while lashing the victim with his belt, CNN reported.

    The victim, Adam Armoush, a 21-year-old Israeli who is not Jewish, told German media he had worn the kippah in an attempt to prove Berlin did not have an antisemitic atmosphere.

    Days later, Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack while expressing concern over the emergence of "another form of antisemitism” outside of that perpetrated by the far-right.

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