Number of Antisemitic Incidents in Germany Surged 40% in 2021, New Annual Data Report Shows

A man wearing a kippah is seen standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany.

June 29, 2022

The number of antisemitic incidents recorded in Germany in 2021 totaled 2,738, up nearly 40% from the 1,957 of the previous year, mirroring a global rise in Jew-hatred, according to a new annual data report published by the country’s Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS).

The incidents — of which there was a daily average of 7.5 — included six cases of extreme violence, 63 assaults, 204 cases of targeted damage to or desecration of property, 101 threats, 2,182 cases of abusive behavior, and 182 mass mailings.

More than half — 54% — of the incidents had an unidentifiable ideological motive, while 17% were attributed to right-wing extremists.

Other significant categories of antisemitism were anti-Israel activism (particularly during the May 2021Gaza conflict) and Jewish-related conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the more extreme incidents included the firing of a bullet at a Jewish community center in Berlin and the beating of a Jewish participant at a public vigil for Israel in Hamburg.

Felix Klein — the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight Against Antisemitism — called the 2021 data “frightening.” However, he added, “each of the reported incidents is also a step towards reducing the dark figure.”

The full RIAS report can be read here.