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Man in Berlin with a kippa
Thousands of demonstrators donned kippas after the confrontation as a sign of the fight against anti-SemitismImage: Reuters/F. Bensch

'Triggering kippa' heads to Berlin museum

May 29, 2018

The skullcap worn by an Israeli youth when he was attacked on the streets of Berlin will become an exhibit at Berlin's Jewish Museum. They hope to continue a dialogue about anti-Semitism prompted by the assault.


An attack on a man wearing a kippa on the streets of Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district drew headlines in April, after video footage of the assault released by one of the victims went viral on social media.

Now that skullcap will go on display at the Jewish Museum of Berlin in an effort by museum officials to respond in a more timely way to those events influencing contemporary life.

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"Museums are discursive places. We have to respond more quickly to current events and react to movements in a society. With the rapid response method, we want to invite our visitors to enter into a dialogue," said program director, Léontine Meijer-van Mensch.

Read more: The kippa, a sign of respect for God 

Labeled "Die Kippa des Anstosses," which roughly translates to "The Triggering Kippa," the skullcap will be on show as of Thursday and is to be included in the museum's new permanent display, set to open in 2019. The collection, museum director Peter Schaefer told dpa, will place a greater emphasis on the Jewish faith than it has in the past.

Triggering dialogue and solidarity

The kippa was worn by an Arab Israeli visiting Berlin in April; he had worn the skullcap although he is not Jewish in an attempt to prove it was not dangerous to wear one in Berlin. He began filming with his mobile phone, however, when a 19-year-old refugee from Syria began shouting "Yahudi" — the Arab word for Jew — at him and a friend and lashing them with a belt.

Read more: Video of alleged anti-Semitic attack in Berlin sparks outrage

The provocation came at a time when anti-Semitism was on the minds of many in Germany.

After two rappers who used anti-Semitic lyrics in their rhymes were awarded an Echo, the highest music prize handed out to those who sold the highest number of records, other musicians returned their prizes in protest. At the same time, Germany appointed its first anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein.

In response to the confrontation, a demonstration of solidarity was coordinated and thousands of Berliners met on April 25, 2018 for the action "Berlin wears Kippa."

Read more: 2,000 Berliners wear skullcaps to protest anti-Semitism

ct/eg (dpa, epd)


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