New German report reveals 83 percent increase in anti-Jewish atrocities in one year

The head of RIAS (Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism), which registers antisemitic incidents, says „openly Jewish life has become even less possible since 7 October than before.“

„Jews are treated with hostility, threatened and attacked in all walks of life. Since October 7, openly Jewish life has become even less possible than before,“ claims in his alarming conclusion Benjamin Steinitz, Executive Director of RIAS, when presenting the annual report on antisemitic incidents in Germany in 2023.

RIAS maintains a national network of 11 reporting centres where victims or witnesses can document such cases. These include assaults and threats, but also harassment or hostility. In the current annual report, 4,782 antisemitic incidents have been documented.

That’s almost 83 percent more than in the previous year and more than ever before, reports the Jüdische Allgemeine. This is because anti-Jewish attacks and hostilities have increased significantly in Germany since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, as well as in other European countries. From October 7 to the end of the year alone, there have been 2,787 antisemitic incidents in Germany.

The Executive Director of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Daniel Botmann, said that in a recent community survey, respondents reported fear of attacks and a high level of insecurity, with 78% saying that their lives in Germany had changed in a negative direction.

Another recent survey, conducted as part of the Community Barometer, showed that since October 7, 38% of respondents have refrained from attending Jewish events more often. Seventy-six percent perceive it as less safe to live and be visible as a Jew in their city.

„Jews feel increasingly unsafe in public spaces and are often afraid to identify themselves as Jews. Many are also concerned about the question of whether it will be possible to live freely and safely as Jews in Germany in the futurem,“ said Botmann at the launch of the report.

The situation is particularly serious in schools and universities, where Benjamin Steinitz spoke of a „deep-seated problem”. He stressed the need to ensure a non-discriminatory learning environment for Jewish students in Germany, „otherwise there is a danger that the fundamental right to education can no longer be exercised.”

Felix Klein, the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, said that Jewish life in Germany has been under greater threat than ever since the founding of the Federal Republic, but that „the Federal Government cannot and will not accept this.”

Klein added that the authorities should be provided with effective tools to comprehensively combat anti-Jewish incitement and violence, the Criminal Code should be amended, and incitement to the destruction of other states and antisemitic slogans should be declared a hate crime.