Germany - Antisemitic incidents in Berlin, January to June 2021

Antisemitic incidents in Germany’s capital peaked in the first six months of this year compared to years prior, according to a new report, fueled mainly by Israel-related hatred and protests against coronavirus measures.

A total of 522 antisemitic outrages were registered in Berlin from January to June, showing an increase of about 17 percent year-on-year, according a report by RIAS, a Berlin-based monitoring institute.

The number was the highest since 2018. On average, there were almost three antisemitic incidents a day during the period, with almost half of the incidents (211) recorded during the month of May hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

The RIAS report collected data on 22 instances of damage to property; 12 attacks; and 447 episodes of hurtful behavior, including antisemitic verbal abuse and harassment, which were documented at 35 antisemitic gatherings and demonstrations. The report also recorded 26 cases of antisemitic letters distributed.

With RIAS including some incidents under more than one classification, about 48% of the incidents were connected to Israel-related antisemitism, and about 43% entailed cases of “post-Shoah” antisemitism — those rejecting the memory of the Nazi crimes. Such trivializing content was found in more than three quarters of all antisemitic incidents related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A fifth of incidents were classified under “modern” antisemitism, with typical cases being conspiracies about Jews wielding outsize political or economic power.

At the same time, the report found that more than half of the antisemitic incidents during the six-month period showed no immediately recognizable connection to the Gaza conflict in May or the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This, too, shows how widespread antisemitic attitudes are across all political spectra and how much antisemitism as a kind of background noise accompanies the everyday life of Berlin’s Jews,” the report stated.

Source: RIAS Berlin