Germany saw more than 2,700 antisemitic incidents in 2021 - report

Posters urging the destruction of Israel were also on display at Munich protests against the Jewish state in May, 2021.

A man carries a wooden Star of David as people attend a demonstration themed with the slogan "#unteilbar" (indivisible) to protest against antisemitism, racism and nationalism in Berlin, Germany, October 13, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE)
A man carries a wooden Star of David as people attend a demonstration themed with the slogan "#unteilbar" (indivisible) to protest against antisemitism, racism and nationalism in Berlin, Germany, October 13, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE)

Germany’s Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS) published a shocking study on Tuesday, revealing 2,738 outbreaks of antisemitism in 2021 – an average of seven cases of Jew-hatred each day.

In 2020, 1,957 cases of antisemitism were documented. The increase in outbreaks between 2020 and 2021 was a jaw-dropping 40%.

The 68-page report cited Israel 147 times. German Muslims produced severe cases of violent and nonviolent antisemitism during Israel’s self-defense war against Hamas rocket attacks in May 2021. RIAS documented that 17% of the antisemitic incidents can be attributed to right-wing extremists.

In the Bavarian capital of Munich, anti-Israel protesters promoted genocidal antisemitism. RIAS wrote that the desire to obliterate the Jewish state was frequently expressed in the slogan “From the River to the Sea – Palestine will be free.” Posters urging the destruction of Israel were also on display at Munich protests against the Jewish state in May 2021.

RIAS wrote, “There were more incidents with potential for violence recorded in 2021 than in the previous year, including six cases of extreme violence and 63 antisemitic attacks.”

“There were more incidents with potential for violence recorded in 2021 than in the previous year, including six cases of extreme violence and 63 antisemitic attacks.”

RIAS
Antisemitic graffiti in the German town of Heidelberg, April 22, 2020.  (credit: AFD WATCH HEIDELBERG)Antisemitic graffiti in the German town of Heidelberg, April 22, 2020. (credit: AFD WATCH HEIDELBERG)

One outbreak of violence involved a shooting that targeted the Berlin Jewish Community Center.

“Cases of extreme violence included an attack on a Jewish participant at a pro-Israel vigil for Israel and against antisemitism in Hamburg, in which the victim was seriously injured,” RIAS said.

Antisemitic incidents

In the city of Lörrach, during the remembrance period of the Kristallnacht pogrom in November, two eggs were tossed at the front of the synagogue. The southwestern state of  Baden-Württemberg, where Lörrach is located, registered nearly a 50% increase in criminal antisemitism.

The June 2021 arson attack on the Ulm synagogue in Baden-Württemberg was not explicitly cited in the RIAS report. The Turkish national suspect, Serkan P., poured a flammable liquid on the wall of the synagogue, starting a fire. Serkan P. fled to Turkey five days after the arson attack.

Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories revolving around the coronavirus pandemic played a role in the spike of Jew-hatred in Germany.

RIAS tracked antisemitism that violates German law, as well as non-criminal outbreaks of Jew-hatred. RIAS said that Jews in Germany “are confronted with hurtful antisemitic remarks in everyday situations.”

In 2021, “a total of 964 individuals were directly affected by antisemitic incidents, 518 of whom were Jewish or Israeli.”

“In view of the corona pandemic and the Arab-Israeli conflict, opportunity structures emerged in which people considered it legitimate to articulate their antisemitic attitudes even more openly and to attack Jews and show hostility toward Jews,” said Daniel Poensgen, an RIAS researcher.