Frankfurt city hall poster campaign calls for solidarity with Jewish community

Two recent studies have found worryingly high levels of antisemitic sentiment and incidents across Europe.

By
February 5, 2019 18:26
2 minute read.
poster

Posters issued by the municipal authority of Frankfurt bearing words of support for the city’s Jewish community have been plastered across the metropolis this week in act of solidarity with Frankfurt’s Jews. . (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Posters issued by the municipal authority of Frankfurt bearing words of support for the city’s Jewish community have been plastered across the metropolis this week in an act of solidarity with Frankfurt’s Jews.

The posters, titled “Together in Frankfurt” and bearing an image of a man wearing a kippah with a design of the Frankfurt skyline on it, were hung as an initiative to highlight the contribution of Jews to the city and as a statement against antisemitism, which recent studies have found is still prevalent in Europe.

“Jewish life is an ancient tradition in Frankfurt and is an inseparable part of the city’s identity,” reads the text of the poster, and goes on to describe the contribution of the Jewish community to the city’s culture and status as a financial center.

Noting the “wounds” caused by “the Holocaust and the terrible era of the Nazis,” the municipality said that “Today we are able to be happy that Jewish life has returned and has an established and important status in our city.”

The poster asserts that “Antisemitism is not only a problem for Jewish society, it is a problem for all of society and therefore the obligation is on our shoulders, every day, to strengthen cooperation and to stand strong and determined against any phenomenon or sign of antisemitic discrimination and racism.”

Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt Avichai Apel, who also serves as chair of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference in Germany and the deputy chair of the standing committee of the Conference of European Rabbis, met with Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann over the weekend to thank him for the positive atmosphere he has created in the city for the Jewish community and his determined struggle against antisemitism.

“Steps such as these are very important and give encouragement for the Jewish community to conduct Jewish life and observe Jewish practice in tranquility and peace,” Apel told the mayor.

Two recent studies have found worryingly high levels of antisemitic sentiment and incidents across Europe.

According to a comprehensive CNN survey published in November last year, approximately 33% of EU citizens surveyed said Jews were too influential in political affairs around the world, with a third of Austrians saying Jews have too much influence over financial matters, as well as 25% of all French and Germans who agreed with the statement.

A study commissioned by the EU of the European Jewish community, published in December 2018, found that Jews on the continent frequently experience antisemitic rhetoric in person and online.

Some 76% of respondents had heard or read a comment that Jews have too much power in their country; 59% read comments that called the interests of Jews in their country “different” than those of the rest of the population; and 72% mentioned that Jews bring antisemitism upon themselves.

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