Because You’re a Jew | TV | DW | 29.12.2017
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Because You’re a Jew

What is life like for Jews in Germany? During the first half of 2017, the number of anti-Semitic attacks increased in Germany.

The case of a 14-year-old student in Berlin, who was bullied and attacked by two Muslim students for being Jewish made headlines in Germany and abroad. Is Germany failing to take action against anti-Semitism in politics and society?

An estimated 250,000 Jews live in Germany. More and more often, they are finding themselves subjected to anti-Semitic harassment or even attacks. In September 2017, the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) won seats in the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, for the first time. The AfD includes people in its ranks who are members of the far-right and even the neo-Nazi scene. Will this further escalate anti-Semitic tendencies within German society?

Along with far-right and neo-Nazi individuals and groups, Muslims in Germany have also been responsible for anti-Semitic harassment. This report tells the story of "Oscar”, a 14-year-old student from Berlin whose real name is being withheld for his protection. For four months, Oscar was verbally abused, bullied and attacked at school because he is Jewish. His mother Gemma recorded the incidents, and the family eventually went public with the story. It all began when Oscar revealed in class that he was Jewish. His Turkish friend immediately rejected him, saying that "Jews kill Arabs.”

The bullying finally culminated in an incident in which a fake gun was pulled on Oscar. Fearing for his safety, Oscar’s parents withdrew him from the school. Along with Oscar’s parents, Oscar’s siblings, grandparents and the principal of the school are also interviewed. During the Nazi regime, Oscar’s grandfather was hidden by a German family, which helped save his life. After the war, Oscar’s grandfather attended a Jesuit high school in Germany, where he was bullied so badly that he attempted suicide. Two generations later, his grandson faced a similar experience. Is the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany being brushed under the carpet - or even tolerated?


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