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February 28, 2023 11:38 am

‘A Disgrace:’ Antisemitic Violence in Germany Increased in 2022, Government Statistics Show

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avatar by Ben Cohen

A protestor outside the Documenta art festival in Germany holds a sign reading “Where Israel is boycotted, Jews are boycotted.” Photo: Reuters/Boris Roessler/dpa

The year on year increase in antisemitic outrages in Germany continued in 2022, with a rise of nearly 40 percent in the acts of violence registered, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the Federal Criminal Police Office.

Denouncing the findings as “a disgrace to our country,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called for tougher consequences for offenders.

The number of violent crimes targeting Jews rose from 63 in 2021 to 88 in 2022, the report showed.

Overall, a total of 2,639 antisemitic offenses were recorded throughout the year. While this marked a slight decrease on the 3,028 recorded in 2021, officials emphasized that the 2022 total was likely to increase, as some of the statistics gathered at the end of the year had still to be included in the final count.

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Many officials additionally recognize that significant numbers of antisemitic crimes go unreported. “The dark field is much larger — those incidents that are not reported in the first place for various reasons,”  Thomas Haldenwang — the president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) — observed last year, asserting that those incidents which are reported to the authorities are merely the “tip of the iceberg.”

Germany’s Jewish community bemoaned the new data as a sign that “antisemitism is becoming more violent.”

“It doesn’t stop with words and damage to property — the violence is increasingly directed against Jews themselves,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of German Jews, told the Welt news outlet.

Petra Pau — vice-president of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag — said that the data proved that antisemitism “poses a threat to society as a whole.” Pau, whose office requested the release of the data from the police, called on the authorities to show more “sensitivity” to the problem, criticizing what she called the “extreme discrepancy” between the initial findings and the late reports. She pointed out that in the third quarter of 2022, inadequate reporting structures meant that an initial finding of 302 acts of antisemitism was subsequently revised to 653 cases.

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