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Police Stats Show Record-High Number of Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in Germany in 2020

A man wearing a kippah stands in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany.

February 15, 2021

A record-high number of anti-Semitic hate crimes were documented in Germany in 2020, according to new German government statistics reported on last week by the Tagesspiegel newspaper and Evangelische Pressedienst news agency.

The data showed there were 2,275 crimes with an anti-Semitic motive last year, including 55 of a violent nature — up from 2,032 in 2019 and 1,799 in 2018.

This marked the largest total of anti-Semitic hate crimes since police in Germany began keeping track of “politically-motivated criminality” in 2001.

Josef Schuster — president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — was quoted by the Tagesspiegel as saying, “In view of the numerous anti-Semitic incidents at the coronavirus-denier protests last year and the conspiracy myths online, it was, unfortunately, to be expected that the number of anti-Semitic crimes would rise again.”

“The radicalization of society is progressing and respect for minorities is declining,” he added.

Germany’s federal anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, said the numbers “must be a warning to us.”

Social cohesion “is measured, especially here in Germany, by how firmly we stand together against hatred of Jews,” he noted.

A clear majority of the anti-Semitic hate crimes had a far-right motive, the data found, while others had far-left and Islamist motives.