Jews in Germany

“I believe that young Jews have no future here.”

This sentence comes from 46-year-old Evelyn Mende. She came to Germany at the age of 8 and will now return to Israel together with her daughter Golda.

“But it is normal that I always hide my chain with the Star of David under my clothes outside the Jewish grammar school,” says the fifteen-year-old Golda. “The boys wear baseball caps in the summer and winter hats over their kippas in the winter. Evelyn Mende also wears the Star of David concealed as her mother advised her to in the 80s. “We don’t want to provoke anyone.” (Die Welt, 27.4.2019)

A survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on 16,395 people (over 16 years of age) from 12 EU countries revealed that nowhere have so many people been subjected to anti-Semitic harassment as they have in Germany.
Antisemitism seems to be so deeply rooted in society that regular harassment has become part of everyday life for these respondents.

Almost 80 percent do not report serious incidents to the police or any other authority, as they are often under the impression that reporting it would have no effect.

When asked who the perpetrators are, 31 percent say, “Someone I can’t describe”. 30 per cent say: “Someone with an extremist Islamic view”. 21 percent name “someone with a politically left view”, 21 percent “classmates, fellow students or colleagues”, 16 percent “teenagers or teenager groups”, 13 percent “someone with a politically right view”. The figures often overlap.

41 percent of respondents in Germany stated that they had had an anti-Semitic experience last year, 52 percent in the past five years. Both figures are well above the EU average (28 percent and 39 percent respectively).

In addition, 75 percent of the interviewed Jews in Germany – sometimes, frequently or always – do not wear Jewish symbols in public. 46 percent of Jews in Germany avoid visiting certain areas in their vicinity. “I find it alarming that people who are recognizable as Jews no longer want to enter certain areas because they are afraid of hostility,” says Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Antisemitism.

According to the FRA survey, 41 percent of the interviewed Jews in Germany stated that the perpetrators had a Muslim background. Other political perpetrator groups were mentioned less frequently – right-wing with 20 percent and left-wing with 16 percent.

Throughout Europe, nine out of ten respondents (89%) believe that anti-Semitism has increased in their country over the last five years.

They rate anti-Semitism on the Internet and in social media as the most problematic (89%), followed by in public spaces (73%), in media (71%) and political life (70%).

The most common antisemitic statements they encounter frequently are that “Israelis behave like Nazis towards Palestinians” (51%), that “Jews have too much power” (43%) and that “Jews exploit the Holocaust for their own purposes” (35%).

Die Respondents most frequently come across such statements online (80%), followed by media other than the Internet (56%) and political events (48%).

Last year (2018), according to RIAS, 1083 anti-Semitic incidents were registered in Berlin, 14 percent more than in the previous year.