Germany's Top anti-Semitism Watchdog Wants a Register of All Hate Crimes Against Jews

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Men wear kippah as they attend a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Cologne, April 25, 2018.
Men wear kippah as they attend a demonstration against anti-Semitism in Cologne, April 25, 2018.Credit: Henning Kaiser/AP

Germany's future anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein has said that he wants to have all hate crimes against Jews in Germany registered in one central office.

"That is one of the first things that I will deal with once I am in office," Klein told the station Inforadio.

He said there were some good regional examples of how anti-Semitic crimes were dealt with, such as the research and information office in Berlin, but such practices were not yet nationwide.

"There has always been anti-Semitism in Germany, but now it is being expressed more unashamedly and aggressively," he said.

In order to develop concrete measures against anti-Semitism it is necessary to know "where exactly anti-Semitism is and where it comes from."

On Wednesday there was a series of "wear the kippah" demonstrations in German cities to show solidarity with the Jewish community. Jews and non-Jews wore the traditional skull-cap to protest anti-Semitism.

Historian Wolfgang Benz says a series of recent attacks do not mean that there is a new wave of anti-Semitism in Germany. "It is the old [anti-Semitism], the base in society. It is not getting worse, but it is bad enough that it is there at all," he told the broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Benz rejected the idea that Muslim refugees had brought a new form of anti-Semitism to Germany. "The immigrants have not come to push anti-Semitism, but it is so appalling to simply distract from our own home-made German anti-Semitism by pointing the finger at others," he said.

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