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October 18, 2019 11:54 am

Clear Majority of Germans Perceive Increase in Antisemitism Over Past Year, New Poll Reveals

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A ‘kippah rally’ in Berlin in April expressing solidarity with Germany’s Jewish community. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.

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.

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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.

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