Clear Majority of Germans Perceive Increase in Antisemitism Over Past Year, New Poll Reveals
A clear majority of Germans believe that antisemitism is spreading in their country, according to a new poll conducted shortly after the attempted massacre on Yom Kippur at a synagogue in Halle in which two people were murdered by a neo-Nazi gunman.
Published on Friday, the poll — conducted by broadcaster ARD one week after the Oct. 9 outrage in Halle –revealed that 59 percent of eligible German voters agreed that antisemitism in their society was rising.
“That’s a lot more — +19 points — than one year ago,” ARD observed on its website, referring to the 2018 finding that only 40 percent of Germans regarded antisemitism as a growing concern.
By contrast, 35 percent of respondents didn’t think that hostility to Jews was increasing — a fall of 16 points from the 51 percent who gave the same answer in 2018.
The poll indicated that party political affiliation was an important factor in how the current generation of Germans respond to antisemitic agitation. At least two-thirds of voters who support the center-right CDU and FDP, the center-left SPD, the Greens and socialist party ‘Die Linke’ (‘The Left’) all agreed that antisemitism continued to increase in Germany. Among supporters of the far-right, anti-immigrant AfD, opinion was evenly split — 47 percent thought the problem of antisemitism was growing, while 48 percent disagreed.
The release of the ARD poll followed Thursday’s announcement of a six-point plan by German Interior Minister Horst Seehoffer to combat antisemitism and right-wing extremism, with tougher regulations to curb online hate speech and a crackdown on the illegal purchase of guns and other weapons by neo-Nazi extremists.