German police who attacked Israeli professor used Nazi slogan

Prof. Yitzhak Melamedsaid said on his Facebook page that a man stalked him and asked him if he was Jewish and yelled, "F*** Jews. I f*** Jews” and “No Jews in Germany.”

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July 29, 2018 13:51
3 minute read.
German police who attacked Israeli professor used Nazi slogan

German police guard the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, before the German presidential election in Berlin, February 12, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A German police officer who assaulted US-based Israeli professor of philosophy in July spread a quotation among his co-workers that originated with Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. After Prof. Yitzhak Melamed was attacked by a self-described Palestinian in the city of Bonn, five officers stormed the academic and beat him, causing injuries.

Prof. Yitzhak Melamed (Credit: Courtesy)

The German newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Saturday that the authorities investigated one of the officers three years ago for right-wing extremism. According to a report from the North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Ministry, the police officer spread the Goebbels quote “Do You Want Total War?” over a private radio to other civil servants during the G-7 meeting in Elmau, Bavaria.

WAZ wrote that the prosecutor in Munich – the capital of Bavaria – did not pursue criminal charges against the police officer because there was no criminal act involved. The article said an investigation against a second officer involved in the beating of Melamed was previously conducted for an alleged assault. That investigation was discontinued, however, an explanation was not provided for why the inquiry was terminated.

Melamed accused the police in Bonn – the former capital of Federal Republic of Germany – of covering up their brutality against him. He said on his Facebook page that he was wearing a kippah when a man, who stated he was Palestinian, asked if he was Jewish and stalked him, yelling “F*** Jews. I f*** Jews” and “No Jews in Germany.”

He then threw Melamed’s kippah to the ground three times and pushed him three times. In response, Melamed said he tried to kick the man in the groin twice but missed both times.

The attacker fled after hearing a police siren. Melamed wrote that two police officers ran past the attacker and tackled himself instead, then two or three other policemen helped pin him to the ground and handcuffed him. He said police punched him in the face several dozen times, bloodying him and breaking his glasses.

“I didn’t have much time to wonder, as almost immediately four or five policemen with heavy guard jumped over me (two from the front, and two or three from the back),” Melamed wrote. “They pushed my head into the ground, and then while I was totally incapacitated and barely able to breath[e], not to mention move a finger, they started punching my face. After a few dozen punches, I started shouting in English that I was the wrong person.”

A police officer then suggested that Melamed provoked the beating, to which he responded by describing his ancestors’ deaths in the Holocaust, Melamed wrote.

“Then the same policemen shouted at me in a didactic tone (in English): ‘Don’t get in trouble with the German Police!’ This was more than enough. I told the policeman sardonically, ‘I am no longer afraid of the German police. The German police murdered my grandfather. They murdered my grandmother. They murdered my uncle, and they murdered my aunt, all in one day in September 1942. So, alas, I am not afraid of them anymore.”

After being taken to the police station, Melamed wrote, police did not tend to his wounds and repeatedly tried to dissuade him from filing a complaint against them – including by suggesting that he attacked the police first, and by threatening to accuse him of resisting arrest. Eventually, he was taken to another office, where he filed a complaint.

The next morning, Melamed wrote, Bonn’s police chief came to his hotel to apologize. But Melamed said the police department’s statement on the incident, published later that day, falsely blamed him for resisting the officers. According to a police statement on Presse- Portal, a German press release platform, police said Melamed “failed to comply with several requests from the officials to stop,” and “fought against the measures” of the police.

“Try (if you can) resisting arrest either when you are not in any bodily contact with the police, or, alternatively, when five policemen are on your back and you are barely able to breath[e],” he wrote.

Attacks on Jews wearing kippot has become an increasingly frequent occurrence on German streets. Most of the highly publicized attacks have been launched by German Muslims and refugees from Syria.

JTA contributed to this report.


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