Jewish Man Assaulted on Berlin Subway in Fresh Antisemitic Outrage
A Jewish man has been subjected to a violent antisemitic assault while riding the subway in Berlin, marking at least the second such violent attack this week, according to local German media.
The unnamed 33-year-old had boarded a train at the Jungfernheide station in the German capital on Tuesday afternoon when he was set upon by another passenger who voiced an antisemitic insult, media outlets reported. He then grabbed the Jewish man’s arm and was pushed by his victim in response. A second passenger then appeared and joined the first man in raining punches on their victim’s head and upper body.
Another passenger intervened on behalf of the victim, who disembarked the train at the Wedding station while the two attackers continued their journey. The victim was reported to have suffered minor injuries. Police are now investigating the attack.
The latest attack came in the wake of an assault earlier this week on a rabbi who was walking through the Potsdam neighborhood in Berlin. Rabbi Ariel Kirzon, 43, who was on his way to a doctor’s visit with his 13-year-old son, was speaking on his cellphone in Hebrew when a man walked towards him, purposely bumped into his shoulder and insulted him in an antisemitic manner, Berlin police said in a statement.
“I was clearly recognizable as a Jew when suddenly an Arab-looking man insulted and attacked me,” Kirzon said. “He shouted and raised his hands, grabbed me, as if to hit me,” Kirzon recalled.
Following the incident, Kirzon filed a criminal complaint for bodily harm and insult with Berlin authorities.
Antisemitic attacks in Germany have risen precipitously in recent years, with a 30 percent increase in attacks targeting Jews in 2021, according to data released by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in February. The data showed that 3,028 antisemitic crimes were recorded in 2021, with incidents involving violence rising as a proportion of the total. The police registered 63 violent assaults in 2021 — six more than in 2020.
However, the rise in attacks on Jews has not been matched in the volume of prosecutions. A recent analysis of the Berlin authorities response to the hundreds of antisemitic attacks recorded in Berlin during 2019 and 2020 showed that only 13 percent of cases had resulted in criminal charges.