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According to a report commissioned by the German Bundestag (parliament), a fifth of all Germans are anti-Semites, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism reports.The report is available here on pdf in German >
The study states that anti-Jewish feeling is “significantly” entrenched in German society, and the internet has helped spread Holocaust denial, and far-right and extreme Islamist views.
The findings listed the cause of continuing anti-Semitism as “based on widespread prejudice, deeply-rooted cliches and also on plain ignorance of Jews and Judaism,” the BBC reports.
They also speak of “a wider acceptance in mainstream society of day-to-day anti-Jewish tirades and actions.” Derogatory comments in sports arenas, where rival soccer teams were often labelled “Jewish”, as well as humiliating Jewish athletes and fans was cited as an example.
However, Germany is not the most anti-Semitic country in Europe, according to the experts. It is outstripped by Poland, Hungary, and Portugal.
The findings are in stark contrast to German President Christian Wulff’s remarks on Friday, the anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee conference, where the Nazis’ plan to murder of millions of Jews was coined. Wulff pledged Germany would keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and never abandon the Jewish people.
Germany’s Jewish population has risen from less than 30,000 in 1989 to more than 200,000 since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, according to the BBC.
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