American attacked in Berlin after saying he′s Jewish | News | DW | 20.06.2019
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American attacked in Berlin after saying he's Jewish

Police are investigating the incident as an anti-Semitic crime. Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner says the rise in such crimes is "alarming."

Berlin police are investigating an attack on an American in Berlin who was hit in the face Tuesday after telling a group of people harassing him that he was Jewish. 

The man reported the incident to the police via an internet site. A police statement published Wednesday said it is being treated as an anti-Semitic attack.

The attack comes amid rising anti-Semitism in Germany and across Europe. In May, the head of the country's Central Council of Jews, said the security situation for Jews living in Germany had "by and large really deteriorated." 

On Thursday at the German Protestant Church Assembly in Dortmund, Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, described the increase in crimes motivated by anti-Semitism as "alarming." 

Punched for being Jewish

The attack on the American took place around 9 pm local time (UTC) on Tuesday in a park area of the southwest neighborhood of Steglitz.

The 23-year-old victim was allegedly approached by a group of about 10 people, three of whom began to harass him. One reportedly then asked him about his religion and proceeded to hit him after he responded saying he was Jewish.

The victim was left with a black eye.

Just a few days prior in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, a man wearing a yarmulke, a traditional head covering for Jewish men, alleged he faced anti-Semitic insults and was spat upon. 

Read more: Opinion: Is the only safe Jew in Germany an invisible one?

According to official figures, the number of anti-Semitic crimes committed in Germany increased from 1,504 in 2017 to 1,646 in 2018, a rise of 10%. The number of cases considered violent increased from 37 to 62 over the same period.

Interior Ministry data attributes most cases to the extreme far right.

cmb/aw (AFP, dpa)

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