EU Study: Jews in Germany Fear Rising Anti-Semitism
A vast survey conducted by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights and published Friday contains troubling results almost exactly 75 years after Kristallnacht: Jews in Germany and seven other EU countries continue to live in fear of verbal or physical abuse — whether in public or, increasingly, online.
“I find it almost unbearable that religious services can only take place with police protection.”
“Anti-Semitism is one reason for me to leave Germany because I want to protect my family from any danger.”
“The anti-Semitic insults I have experienced were not from neo-Nazis or from leftists, but from ordinary people of the political center.”
What is it like for Jews to live in Europe? Are they able to practice their religion without restraint? Seventy-five years after the beginning of the Kristallnacht pogrom, also referred to as the “November pogroms,” how much harassment, discrimination and hate crime do they encounter?
On Friday, the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released a report titled “Discrimination and Hate Crime against Jews in EU Member States: experiences and perceptions of antisemitism.” The online survey polled 5,847 self-selected individuals who identified as Jewish in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the UK, states in which an estimated 90 percent of European Jews live.
Coping with Anti-Semitism
The survey’s results provide insight into the perceptions, experiences and self-conception of European Jews. Rather than supplying absolute figures on anti-Semitic attacks, the study focuses on the perceived danger of such attacks and how much the anxiety this causes affects their lives.
- Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that anti-Semitism is a problem in Europe, and over three-quarters (76%) noted that there had been an increase in anti-Semitic hostility in their home countries over the last five years.
- Close to half of respondents (46%) are afraid of being verbally attacked or harassed in a public place because they are Jewish, while a third (33%) worry that such attacks could turn physical.
- Roughly 50 percent of surveyed parents or grandparents of school-aged children worry that their children could be victims of anti-Semitic verbal insults or harassment at or on the way to or from school if they wore visible Jewish symbols in public.
- More than half of respondents (57%) said that, over the last 12 months, they had heard or seen someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or that it has been exaggerated.
- About a quarter (26%) of respondents said that they had experienced some form of anti-Semitic harassment over the previous year, while 4 percent said they had experienced physical violence or threats of attack in the same period.
- Almost one-fourth (23%) said they had been discriminated against in the last 12-month period for being Jewish.
- Among employed respondents, 11 percent said they are most likely to experience discrimination for being Jewish at the workplace, while 10 percent said this was the case when looking for work.
The study also examined whether these incidents made it into official statistics. The overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) said that they had not reported to any authority or organization “the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected them.”
Spiegel.de has the full article
(Photo discovered on Spiegel.de, provided by DPA)