When Judith G. helped out at a refugee center near Frankfurt last October and identified herself as Jewish, she was spat on and insulted.
German Jews say the case of Judith G., a 33-year-old optician who asked not to be fully named, isn’t isolated and underlines concerns many have about the record arrivals of asylum seekers, largely from Muslim countries in the Middle East.
Official figures show German-born far-right supporters commit the vast majority of anti-Semitic crimes in the country, and Muslim leaders say nearly all asylum seekers – who can be targets of hate crime themselves – are trying to escape conflict, not stir it up.
Nevertheless, Jews across Germany are hiding their identity when volunteering at refugee shelters for fear of reprisals, adding another layer of complexity to a social, economic and logistical challenge that is stretching the fabric of German society.
“Among the refugees, there are a great many people who grew up with hostility towards Israel and conflate these prejudices with hatred towards Jews in general,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews, told Reuters in an interview conducted in October.
Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed last week that anti-Semitic attitudes among some young people arriving from countries where “hatred towards Israel and Jews is commonplace” needed to be dealt with.
Leave a Reply