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Germany sees sharp rise in racist, anti-Semitic hate crime

AFP  |  Berlin 

Xenophobic and anti-Semitic rose by nearly 20 per cent in last year, according to the latest interior ministry data published Tuesday.

In its report, the ministry listed 7,701 xenophobic criminal acts, a jump of 19.7 percent compared to 2017.

Anti-Semitic offences totalled 1,799 after a similar increase.

Almost 90 percent of perpetrators had a right-wing extremist background, told a press conference.

Despite a post-war culture of repentance for the Nazi era and Holocaust, has not bucked a European tend of increasing hate speech and attacks against Jews.

expressed his concern at the launch of a European network called Combating Anti-Semitism Through Education.

All over Europe, hatred of Jews and violence against minorities are now rampant, Maas said.

Historical awareness is the best shield against intolerance, and anti-Semitism, he said, urging efforts to close "gaps in knowledge".

The challenges had increased with the arrival of migrants who grew up with anti-Semitic stereotypes, he said, stressing however that anti-Semitism is "not an imported product".

Maas urged tolerance toward all minorities, saying that "in a free and tolerant Europe, we must protect a woman with a headscarf from insults and assaults just as we must protect a man with a kippa".

Felix Klein, Germany's for Anti-Semitism said he was "extremely alarmed" by the sharp rise.

"Against the background of falling inhibitions and brutalisation of the social climate in Germany, I had expected an increase in anti-Semitic crimes in 2018," Klein told German daily

"However, I consider the fact that the increase was so high to be extremely alarming.

Klein said must now "mobilise all our forces in politics and civil society" to counter "this trend".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 18:48 IST