Merkel: Every single Jewish institution needs protection

Speaking to Christian Amanpour about the rise of antisemitism in her country, Merkel said that Germany has "always had a certain number of antisemites among us, unfortunately."

By
May 28, 2019 11:18
2 minute read.
Angela Merkel lights the Eternal Flame and places a wreath at Yad Vashem, 2018.

Angela Merkel lights the Eternal Flame and places a wreath at Yad Vashem, 2018.. (photo credit: OREN BEN HAKON)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has addressed the issue of rising antisemitism in Germany during an exclusive interview with CNN, following a warning from a top German official for Jews not to wear kippot in public.

Speaking to Christian Amanpour about the rise of antisemitism in her country, she said that Germany has "always had a certain number of antisemites among us, unfortunately."

"There is to this day not a single Synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen," she added. "Unfortunately over the years, we have not been able to deal with this satisfactorily."

WATCH FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW.

Her comments come just days after Dr. Felix Klein, Merkel’s commissioner to combat antisemitism and support Jewish life in Germany, warned the Jewish community that it is not safe for Jews to wear kippot in public.

On Saturday, Klein said that in his "opinion on the matter has changed following the ongoing brutalization in German society. I can no longer recommend Jews wear a kippah at every time and place in Germany.”

During the CNN interview, Merkel said that "there is work to be done" as "dark forces" continue to find mainstream support.

"In Germany, obviously, they always have to be seen in a certain context, in the context of our past, which means we have to be that much more vigilant than others," she said, adding that Germany has to face-up to "the specters of our past" and that "we have to tell our young people what history has brought over us and others, and these horrors... why we have to put ourselves in the other persons shoes and why we stand up against intolerance and why we show no tolerance towards violations of human rights."

Merkel acknowledged that the task to teach new generations about such matters has become harder "but it has to be done."

The German Chancellor is currently serving her fourth and final term as the country's leader, which will end in 2021.

According to The New York Times, there are some 200,000 Jews living in Germany. In an article published earlier this month, the Times reported that antisemitic crimes in Germany increased by almost 20% over 2018, with violent antisemitic incidents rising by about 86%, to 69 last year. Police statistics claimed that 89% of antisemitic crimes were carried out by right-wing extremists.

Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report
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