In Berlin 2015, Jewish magazines are delivered in plain paper wrapping to minimize the chance of attack.
That’s the plain, unvarnished truth, according to the British-based The Guardian newspaper, quoting the Tagesspiegel, a Berlin newspaper.
The monthly magazine that serves the city’s Jewish community, the Jüdisches Berlin made the decision this year, according to spokesman Ilan Kiesling.
“We decided to do so despite the significant additional costs to reduce the likelihood of hostility towards our more than 10,000 community members,” Kiesling said.
The magazine is published by the Jewish Community of Berlin organization. Gideon Joffe, head of the group, wrote in the latest issue, “Israelis are beaten up in Berlin solely on the grounds that they are Israeli Jews. We are not yet – I repeat, yet – at the stage where Jews are being murdered in Germany just because they are Jews. But measures have to be taken to protect the democratic rule of law.”
According to Jewish Business News, there are an estimated 20,000 Israelis living in Germany. Jewish schools, community builds and cemeteries are guarded at present by police around the clock.
Last November, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told an international conference on anti-Semitism that “hatred of Jews’ was on the rise once more in his country.
The foreign minister said Germany’s Jews were being threatened and attacked at pro-Palestinian demonstrations. He added that the counter terrorism actions by Israel against Gaza could not be used to justify anti-Semitic behavior. Slogans like, ‘Gas the Jews!’ were also used during marches in the summer and a synagogue was firebombed in Wuppertal that had been burned down during Kristallnacht in 1938, but had since been rebuilt.
“Bold and brutal anti-Semitism has shown its ugly face again,” Steinmeier told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) event.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany reported late last year that anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, as it is in other countries across Europe. Dieter Graumann, former president of the organization, said in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014, “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden.
“We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.
“We have seen… during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure, primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again,” Graumann added. “It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when they are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly.”
In 1935, an anonymous Dutch photographer drove a motorcycle across Germany to document the sentiment about Jews. He was sent by Hans Richman and Alfred Viner, two Jews who escaped the country to the Netherlands, but hoped to expose the truth about the rising Nationalist-Socialist Party.
What they found was that Germany did not want its Jews – he photographed 22 signs along the way, all with one message: ‘Jews are not wanted here.’ Photos found along the sides of the road and at village entrances and in front of houses that today are in the National Archive in Jerusalem read, “Jews are not wanted here,” and “Jews, immigrate to your own country.”
The photos were distributed all over the world, including in Palestine, but did little good. Even the newspapers in Palestine did not print the photographs. Few others bothered.
People were used to seeing anti-Semitic slogans back then, in 1935.
They’re used to seeing them now, too. Even Israelis, unbelievably, who are stupid enough to actually move to the place where it all started just 70 years ago. What’s wrong with you??
Jews, wake up! Even some of your Christian and Muslim friends understand that something is wrong. Wake up, before it’s too late – again.Rachel Levy