German Jews ‘no longer feel safe’, say community leaders

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

German Jews ‘no longer feel safe’, say community leaders

'Historical defensive guilt' is among the causes of anti-Semitism in Germany, say community leaders
'Historical defensive guilt' is among the causes of anti-Semitism in Germany, say community leaders
'Historical defensive guilt' is among the causes of anti-Semitism in Germany, say community leaders
‘Historical defensive guilt’ over the Shoah is among the causes of anti-Semitism in Germany, say community leaders

Rising anti-Semitism means Jews “no longer feel safe” living in Germany and are considering whether to “pack suitcases”, community leaders have claimed.

Daniel Killy, the leader of Hamburg’s 2,500-strong Jewish community, said the growing popularity of the German far-right, coupled with lapses in security and an influx of refugees from cultures “steeped in hatred” for Jewish people meant they “no longer feel safe here”.

Germany welcomed over one million Muslim refugees over the past year – a figure almost ten times the size of its Jewish population of around 118,000.

Over the same period, 200 German Jews made aliyah, with the Jerusalem Post claiming the community’s high average age means the number is of greater significance than its relatively small size would suggest. 

Killy said “historical defensive guilt” about the Shoah, “obsessive criticism of Israel” and anti-Semitism from some sections of the Muslim and Christian communities were among the challenges facing German Jews.

Local reports claim pro-Israel demonstrators are regularly subjected to vile anti-Semitic taunts. One Jewish eyewitness, 22-year-old Elliot Reich, said counter-protestors shouted “Hamas! Hamas! Jews into gas!” at a 2014 march in Berlin.

Reich, a student, added: “”At the moment I virtually feel like I’m the foreign minister of Israel.”

The chairman of the Jewish cultural association in the city of Wuppertal, near Dusseldorf – whose shul was firebombed by three Palestinians in July 2014 – said the “pure anti-Semitism” directed at the community meant many people were unsure of their futures in Germany.

Leonid Goldberg said: “I thought the time for packed suitcases was for always over. Now I am considering when we need to pack these suitcases again.”



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: