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Anti-Semitic crimes up 13 percent in Germany

The number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany climbed to 2,032 last year, up 13 percent from 2018, Interior Minster Horst Seehofer said Wednesday.

Seehofer said the biggest threat comes from right-wing extremists who are responsible for 93 percent of anti-Semitic hate crimes, according to the figures.

“Everyday, we must do everything humanly possible to ensure the protection of our people. To do so, we need a strong state on the foundation of our free and democratic basic order,” he said.

The statistics included last year’s terrorist attack in Halle on Yom Kippur, in which a gunman tried and failed to enter a synagogue, before killing two people in the street.

“The attack in Halle last year was a signal,” said Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. “Anti-Semitism has become commonplace for Jews in Germany. Especially on the internet, unrestrained hatred is striking us. But the rejection of Jews is also a massive problem on the streets and in schools,” he said.

The coronavirus pandemic was having a “reinforcing effect,” he said. “We are massively confronted with anti-Semitism. Supporters of conspiracy myths and opponents of measures against the pandemic do not even shy away from relativizing the Holocaust,” he said.

Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party, criticized the interior minister’s presentation of the crime statistics.

“Seehofer only repeated the politically correct claim for the mainstream that 93 percent of anti-Semitism comes from the ‘right’,” she said, adding that the minister’s remarks were a ” transparent maneuver … to conceal Muslim anti-Semitism in Germany.”

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