Jewish Institutions in Germany Still Need Police Protection, Leader Says
Jewish institutions in Germany “still need police protection” due to antisemitic threats, especially amid an expanding Jewish population in the country, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster told Deutsche Welle on Sunday.
“There is a potential threat,” he continued. “My biggest wish would be that this police protection would someday no longer be necessary.”
Approximately 250,000 Jews live in Germany and half are members of one of the 108 congregations spread across the country, according to the report. Germany is the only country in Europe to report a growing Jewish population.
The Central Council of Jews, founded 65 years ago, is an “umbrella organization” for all Jewish communities in Germany, explained Schuster, who has headed the organization since October 2014.
Schuster said he believes the nature of antisemitism has evolved over the years. The hatred is no longer just the domain of political extremists, but also those “in the middle of society,” he said, adding that nowadays antisemitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism.
“Today, many are willing to say what they may already have long thought, but had not dared to utter,” he said.
According to Schuster, the only way to combat antisemitism is through education. He noted that it is most important to start with younger generations and teach them about Jewish communities and Judaism so that it is not perceived as something alien.
“No child or young person in Germany or anywhere else in the world is born an antisemite or racist,” he said.