Christian Democratic Union CDU party leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts after winning the German general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In her statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned rising antisemitism in her country and reiterated the need to protect Jewish religious, educational and cultural spaces.
Speaking during her weekly podcast, Merkel said it is "inconceivable and shameful that no Jewish establishment may exist without police protection, whether it is a school, a kindergarten or a synagogue."
Marking 73 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, Merkel made clear that she recognizes that antisemitism is still alive and well in the Federal Republic. She said it was necessary to remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust because "antisemitism, racism and hatred of others" are still relevant in 2018.
Merkel also reaffirmed her support for the creation of an antisemitism commissioner
who will be tasked with overseeing the creation and implementation of a program to rid Germany of antisemitism. Merkel's Christian Democrats voted in favor of the position's inception, which was announced last month.
At a December protest in Berlin in response to US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and declaring his intention to move the US embassy there, Israeli flags were burned
, prompting Israel's ambassador to Germany to demand the outlawing of such an act.
In recent years, the trend of antisemitism has grown not only in Germany, but in Europe as a whole, partially as a response to the ongoing migrant crisis, which has seen an influx of over 1 million Syrian migrants — as well as hundreds of thousands more from Afghanistan, Libya and other war-torn countries.