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Head Catholic Church in Germany cals for intensifying fight against everyday anti-Semitism


The head of the Catholic Church in Germany called for intensifying the fight against everyday anti-Semitism. He wrote about this in a letter to the chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, which he sent to the Jewish leader on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

The president of the German Bishops' Conference, Georg Betzing, expressed concern about the growing level of anti-Semitism in Germany. In particular, he recalled that anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist works of art were presented at the documenta fifteen exhibition in Kassel , and this "naturally caused a wave of discussions in society." At the same time, it is worth noting that artists, for the most part, stood up for the exhibition .

At the same time, Betzing stressed that it is important "not to lose sight of everyday anti-Semitism - for example, in schools" and said that he has high hopes for the educational project "Together Against Anti-Semitism", which at the end of 2022 will be launched in Catholic and Protestant schools in the world. Lower Saxony.

More than 3,000 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in the country in 2021, a 30% increase from 2020, according to data released by the German Interior Ministry in February. A report by the Center for the Study and Collection of Information on Anti-Semitism (RIAS), released in June, cites slightly different, but no less frightening figures. According to the organization, the total number of cases of anti-Semitism in Germany last year reached 2,738.

RIAS identified six types of such incidents, depending on their nature and severity of consequences: "extreme violence", "assault", "targeted damage to property", "threats", "abusive behavior" and "mass mailing". If only one case was recognized as “extreme violence” in 2020, in 2021 there were already six. The RIAS classified such cases, for example, as an attack on a Jew, a participant in pickets in defense of Israel in Hamburg.

There were 63 attacks in 2021, compared to 39 cases in 2020. As an example, RIAS cited the case of a woman in Gelsenkirchen who was walking with a bag with a Star of David, which caused a crowd of people to surround her and start spitting at her. The number of damage to property also increased - 204 against 170 a year earlier.

According to RIAS, last year there were 101 threats, 2,182 cases of offensive behavior and 182 mass mailings of anti-Semitic letters. 964 people were injured, the report says. Researchers cited the coronavirus pandemic and the escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May last year as the reasons for the increase in anti-Semitism - almost half of all registered cases were associated with these events.