A survey in Germany has found a groundswell of antisemitic beliefs after a deadly synagogue attack in the centre of the country.
A report by World Jewish Congress (WJC) this week found that at least one in four Germans holds antisemitic beliefs, such as that Jews have “too much power over the economy,” or that they are “more loyal to Israel,” or that they “talk about the Holocaust too much”. Of the latter statement, 41 percent agreed.
A resurgent far-right in Germany is led by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, whose leaders have suggested that Germans are too apologetic over the Shoah.
Last year Björn Höcke, an AfD leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, called Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame” and urged for a “180 degree reversal” on how the country commemorates and atones for the Nazi era.
The WJC survey comes just two weeks after a deadly attack on a synagogue in Halle, which led to a 10,000-strong solidarity march in Berlin, and suggests how attitudes may be changing, giving antisemitism a new foothold in Germany.
Of the 1,300 Germans who took part in the poll, four in ten felt Jews were “more loyal to Israel than to Germany” while a fifth thought Jews had “too much power” over the economy, international financial markets and the media. Another 22 percent said “people hate Jews because of the way they behave”.
Typically surveys find that antisemitic attitudes are more prevalent among those with the lowest incomes, however the WJC’s Germany study found antisemitic attitudes among 18 percent of respondents with at least one university degree, who earn at least £90,000 per year.
WJC president Ronald Lauder said Germany was now reaching “crisis point,” adding: “We’ve seen what happens when ordinary people look away or remain silent. It’s time for German society to take a stand and combat antisemitism head-on.”