Study: Fifth of Germans harbor anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism remains deeply rooted in German society, with an estimated 20 per cent of people latently hostile to Jews, an independent study commissioned by the parliament said Monday.

It quoted schoolchildren using the words, 'You Jew,' as a derogatory term for one another nationwide in playground squabbles.

Crowds routinely tried to antagonize Jewish teams during football matches with chants of 'Jews to the gas chamber,' 'Bring back Auschwitz,' and 'Set fire to the synagogues,' the report added.

The panel called on politicians to come up with more ways to push back against anti-Jewish attitudes, but noted that anti-Semitism was almost impossible to stop online.

'Anti-Semitism in our society is based on widespread prejudices, deeply rooted cliches and on sheer ignorance about Jews and Judaism,' said one of the authors, Peter Longerich.

The study said far-right movements employed anti-Semitism as their ideological glue to hold them together, but added that anti-Semitism was also found among 20 per cent of ordinary Germans. It was an attitude that made them susceptible to rightist recruiters.

The panel collated the report from a variety of social surveys.

However anti-Semitism was less embedded in German society than in some other European nations. Anti-Semitism was considerably more widespread in Poland, Hungary and Portugal, the report noted.


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