Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of Central Council of Jews in Germany, on Friday told the newspaper Heilbronner Stimme that Jewish life in Germany is possible only under police protection (Jüdisches Leben nur unter Polizeischutz möglich).
“In Berlin as well as here in Munich, the big Hanukkah candlesticks were under guard around the clock,” Knobloch told the Heilbronner Stimme, warning that “Jewish life can only take place in public under police protection and the strictest security precautions – or it must be completely canceled for security reasons, like the public Hanukkah celebration in Mülheim.”
Knobloch called for the German federal government to create a new authority to monitor and defend against the new wave of anti-Semitism: “Anti-Semitism has grown on the right and the left, in the Muslim community and also in the heart of German society,” said Knobloch, now serves as president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria. She argued that an efficient approach to fighting public and covert anti-Semitism is long overdue.
In April, the Bundestag received an expert report showing that Jews in Germany are facing increased anti-Semitism in their everyday lives, and fear for their safety.
Recently, German Jews were shocked at the appearance of a video documenting a 60-year-old German man outside a Jewish restaurant in Berlin, berating the owner and predicting that “within five years you’ll all be back in the gas chambers.”
Commenting on the video, Charlotte Knobloch said, “The hostility and threats that can be seen in the video are disgusting but not unusual. Many overt and covert forms of anti-Semitism are on the rise in every area of society.”
In her view, this video did not represent an isolated incident but the “everyday experience of Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is widespread online and on social media but also in the analog world. Jewish students, for instance, suffer greatly from this phenomenon—’Jew’ has once again become an insult in German schoolyards.”
Last July, Josef Schuster, the current president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Deutsche Welle that his group is “delighted that our communities have grown as they have. In addition, many Israelis are drawn to Berlin, which we also warmly welcome, of course. But the fact is, Jewish institutions still need police protection. There is a potential threat. My biggest wish would be that this police protection would someday no longer be necessary.”