German Police Launch Hate Crime Probe Over Berlin Attack on Jewish Man

The 55-year-old told police that he was wearing clothes that identified him as a Jew when two men pushed him to the ground from behind

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas delivers A speech during a solidarity prayer at the synagogue of the Chabad Lubawitsch education center in Berlin, AugUST 9, 2019.
Markus Schreiber,AP

German authorities in Berlin have launched a hate crime investigation after a Jewish man was pushed to the ground from behind by two men, police said on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old victim told police he was wearing clothing that identified him as a Jew when the incident occurred on Tuesday in the western neighbourhood of Charlottenburg. He returned home before contacting emergency services to report head and leg pain.

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Concerns about anti-Jewish sentiments have been on the rise in Germany.

Last month, a rabbi was walking home with his son after conducting a service at a Berlin synagogue when two Arabic-speaking men swore and spat at him

Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner made headlines in May when he warned Jews not to wear kippahs - traditional Jewish skullcaps - in public spaces. The comments were prompted by statistics showing a rise in anti-Semitic crimes in Germany.

According to official figures, the number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany increased from 1,504 in 2017 to 1,646 in 2018, a 10-per-cent rise. The number of cases considered violent increased from 37 to 62 over the same period.