Antisemitic attitudes in the eastern German state of Thuringia dramatically increased over the last year from 9% to 16%, triggering alarm bells among politicians in the state.
According to the study by Thüringen-Monitor, 16% of Thuringians agree with the statement that people of Jewish faith have something peculiar about them, “and do not really make them acceptable to us.” In a similar study in 2018, 9% of Thuringians agreed with the antisemitic statement, according to the news outlet MDR THÜRINGEN.
Working-class people hold more negative attitudes toward Jews, according to the study conducted by the Thüringen Monitor of the Friedrich Schiller-University in Jena. The report said 24% of the people in Thuringia maintain an extremist right-wing view.
The Free Democratic Party head Thomas Kemmerich, who expressed concern over the study, told MDR THÜRINGEN that “antisemitism is apparently an eradicable disease.”
In late October, voters in Thuringia boosted the Left Party and far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in regional elections. Both parties have been plagued by antisemitism scandals over the years.
Bodo Ramelow, 63, the Left Party governor of the state who is working to form a new coalition government following the election, wrote on his Facebook page in 2012 that a Swiss company’s targeting of Israeli products was a “legitimate measure.” Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, Migros, decided to single out Israeli products originating in the West Bank and east Jerusalem for labeling in its stores.
The company spokeswoman said Migros did not support boycotts but rather wanted to let customers make informed decisions. Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post at the time that the Migros action was “harming the Jewish state and was a continuation of Nazism.”
Israel and many experts in the field of antisemitism consider the EU’s policy and recent EU top court ruling that mandates Israeli products from across the Green Line be sanctioned with a label to be antisemitic.