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Germany saw record number of extremely violent antisemitic crimes in 2022, according to report

  • Last year, 2,480 incidents of antisemitism were recorded in Germany which was slightly less compared to the year before, according to the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism.
  • Germany reportedly saw on average seven antisemitic incidents per day.
  • Extremely violent antisemitic crimes such as shootings also reached a record number at nine incidents, according to the report.

A group tracking antisemitism in Germany said Tuesday that it documented 2,480 incidents in the country last year — just under seven incidents per day on average.

In its annual report, the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism, or RIAS, said that while it registered a slight decrease in antisemitic incidents in 2022, compared to the year before, there were nine incidents of extreme violence — the highest number of such cases since nationwide record keeping began in 2017.

Those extremely violent crimes include a shooting at a former rabbi’s house next to an old synagogue in the western city of Essen last November. Germany’s federal prosecutor is now investigating the case along with two other violent antisemitic crimes on suspicion that they may have been carried out in cooperation with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

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More often, however, “it is everyday situations in which Jews are confronted with antisemitism,” Benjamin Steinitz, the head of RIAS, told reporters in Berlin.

These incidents can take place anywhere from work to home, to public transport, in the supermarket or at a concert. Such “everyday” antisemitic incidents have diverse political backgrounds and often include trivialization of the Holocaust, in which Germany’s Nazis and their henchmen murdered 6 million European Jews.

synagogue

Clouds cover the sky over the Star of David on top of the “New Synagogue” in central Berlin, Germany, on June 27, 2023. The annual antisemitism report by Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism is presented in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Many antisemitic hate crimes also include common tropes linked to Jews or conspiracy theories such as the coronavirus pandemic with its anti-Jewish narratives and the Middle East conflict with antisemitic criticism of Israel.

Every fifth antisemitic incident has a conspiracy background, according to what RIAS documented. A right-wing extremist background was involved in 13 % of all incidents, while 53% of the incidents could not be clearly linked to a specific political background.

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The German government’s commissioner to combat antisemitism, Felix Klein, pointed specifically to antisemitic incidents in Germany’s cultural sector, in which the head of a major art show in Germany, the documenta fifteen, resigned last year after an exhibit featuring antisemitic elements prompted an outcry in the country.

“Documenta fifteen was rightly the talk of the town,” Klein said. “But many anti-Semitic incidents also occur below the threshold of public attention in the cultural sector — as in other parts of social life, they are part of everyday life for Jews.”

Jews who are exposed to antisemitism in Germany can reach out to RIAS, which will not only document the incidents, but also help those concerned with further contacts to criminal police focused on combatting antisemitism and groups helping victims of Jew hatred.

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