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Germany allocates $41.5 million to fight antisemitism amid alarming rise in incidents

Anja Karliczek, Germany's minister of education and research
Anja Karliczek, the German government’s minister of education and research, speaks at a news conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
(Soeren Stache / DPA)

Germany said Wednesday that it would strengthen its battle against quickly growing antisemitism in the country by investing $41.5 million in research and educational projects focused on fighting hatred of Jews and understanding its causes.

Police registered 2,351 cases of antisemitism in Germany last year — an increase of 15% compared with the year before, officials reported.

“This is the highest number in the last couple of years,” said Anja Karliczek, Germany’s education and research minister. “There’s reason for worry that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that the unreported number of daily attacks on Jews is substantially higher.”

Karliczek added that, “especially in view of our history, we have a special obligation to protect Jews and Jewish life in Germany.”

Six million European Jews were killed in the Holocaust, the Nazi-orchestrated genocide during World War II.

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Karliczek said the German government wanted to invest millions into researching the causes of antisemitism “because we need deep knowledge in order to be able to efficiently fight” it.

A 100-year-old man alleged to have served as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp outside Berlin is to go on trial in Germany in October.

She said millions would be given to universities to examine the different facets of hatred against Jews and to develop strategies on what best to do against it. Various projects will focus on antisemitism in schools, in the German justice system and on the internet and social media.

Funds will also be given to hire junior scholars focusing on the topic and to support projects trying to educate Germany’s non-Jewish majority about Jewish life, customs and religious rituals.

“It is a shame that Jews feel threatened in our country,” Karliczek said.

In a second step, scientists will be tasked with developing practical guidelines based on their findings to help teachers and others tackle the growing hatred.


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