American Tourist Attacked in Berlin for Saying He Was Jewish

Amid uptick in anti-Jewish attacks in the city, the 23-year-old man reports that a group harassed him and hit him in the face; local police are investigating the incident

A man wears a kippah at a rally against anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin, September 1, 2012.
AFP

A 23-year-old American said he was hit in the face in Berlin after telling a group harassing him that he was Jewish.

The man, described as a tourist, suffered a black eye in the incident, which he reported via a police website, according to news reports. Police are investigating the Tuesday night attack as an anti-Semitic crime.

The episode occurred in a park in the Steglitz district of the German capital at about 9 p.m. when three people in a group of 10 began to harass him. One reportedly asked the tourist about his religion, then hit him in the face after he answered that he was Jewish.

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The incident comes just days after an attack on a 20-year-old man who was wearing a kippah in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. He was harassed and the perpetrator tried unsuccessfully to spit on him. The case also is under investigation.

In April, the Berlin-based Research and Information Centre on Anti-Semitism said there had been a 14 percent increase in anti-Jewish incidents in Berlin over the previous year, when 951 anti-Semitic incidents were reported.