Study: One in four Germans harbor anti-Semitic thoughts
October 24, 2019
More than a quarter of Germans surveyed said they agreed with anti-Semitic statements, including that Jews have "too much power over the economy." Over 40% said they thought Jews "talk about the Holocaust too much."
Out of the 1,300 Germans who took part in the representative survey, 27% agreed with a range of anti-Semitic statements and stereotypes about Jewish people.
Some 41% said they agreed with the statement that "Jews talk about the Holocaust too much." The same portion said they believed "Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Germany."
Over 20% of respondents said they agreed that Jewish people have "too much power" over the economy, international financial markets and the media. Another 22% agreed that "people hate Jews due to the way they behave."
"These are cliches, stereotypes, envy but there is also some truth to it. Jews are successful. What's the problem with that?" Cologne Rabbi Yechiel Brukner told DW. "Why are Germans not envious that, as a percentage of the population, Jews have many more Nobel Prize winners? Why doesn't that bother anyone? What does it always concern the aspect of 'money'? Judaism places an emphasis on intellectual intelligence and that has meant that Jews are often very successful. They also work hard, but why does someone not like them for that?
"Think about this: There are still living Holocaust survivors and Germans already dare to entertain anti-Semitic thoughts — and even to take action based on them. That's incredible," Brukner added.
The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the state of anti-Semitism in Germany has reached a "crisis point."
"We've seen what happens when ordinary people look away or remain silent," he told the paper.
Lauder added that Germany has an obligation to prevent the return of intolerance and hatred, and if one quarter of the population adheres to anti-Semitic beliefs, then the remaining three quarters must take action to defend democracy and a tolerant society in Germany.
"It's time for German society to take a stand and combat anti-Semitism head-on," he said.