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May 4, 2022 10:14 am
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German Police Investigate Leaflets Calling for ‘Liquidation’ of Jews by 2023

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Illustrative: A participant at a demonstration in Munich on May 9 carries a sign comparing coronavirus precautions with the atrocities of Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor known as the “Angel of Death.” Photo: @robertandreasch/Twitter.

German police are investigating the distribution of crudely antisemitic leaflets that urged the elimination of all Jews among residents of a town in the southern state of Bavaria.

The leaflets were placed in private mailboxes in a residential neighborhood of Markt Schwaben, which lies about 14 miles east of the city of Munich. Recipients said that the handwritten sheet advanced a range of bizarre conspiracy theories, including blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on a Jewish plot. The leaflets also claimed that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestry — a discredited contention that was expressed most recently by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, resulting in widespread condemnation from Israeli and world leaders.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung news outlet, which saw a copy of the leaflet, reported that one element “runs through the text from start to finish: aggressive hatred of Jews, right up to the call to ‘liquidate’ all Jews worldwide by the end of 2023.” There was no signature or any other identifying marks visible on the leaflet, leading one recipient to remark that the author’s anonymity proved that “hatred and cowardice go hand in hand.”

Felix Balandat, an analyst with the Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism in Bavaria (RIAS), emphasized that the violent message of the leaflets was a primary concern.

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“You can tell that the author has a blatant urge to spread his antisemitism by taking the trouble to distribute [the leaflets] in mailboxes,” Balandat said. “The antisemitic fantasies of annihilation in the text are particularly alarming.”

Balanadat added that “antisemitism urges action and in the end antisemites only want one thing: that there are no more Jews in the world.”

One of the recipients of the leaflet filed a complaint with local police on Saturday, who are now carrying out an investigation into an incident of hate speech. In March of this year, a district court convicted a COVID-19 protestor on hate speech charges after he compared the German government’s vaccination policy with the plight of Jews under Nazi rule.

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