Germany’s best-selling Bild newspaper has posted online a cut-out version of a yarmulka – a kippah – to be worn by German men in a sign of solidarity against the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the country.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grennell also called on German citizens via Twitter to “Wear your Kippah. Wear your friend’s Kippa. Borrow a kippa and wear it for our Jewish neighbors.”
The Kippah Belongs to Germany!” wrote BILD editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt, in a passionately written op-ed, announcing on Twitter, “That’s why in BILD the kippah will be printed for cutting out on page 1.”
Wenn auch nur einer in unserem Land nicht Kippa tragen kann, ohne sich in Gefahr zu bringen, kann die Antwort nur lauten, dass wir alle Kippa tragen.
Die Kippa gehört zu Deutschland!
Deswegen druckt @BILD morgen die Kippa zum Ausschneiden auf Seite 1. pic.twitter.com/h3U9anRDZA
— Julian Reichelt (@jreichelt) May 26, 2019
“Actually, we should be infinitely grateful that Jewish life flourishes in Germany again,” Reichelt wrote. “Actually, we must resolutely defend what may be considered a historical miracle and gift to our country.
“But the reality is different and is expressed in the appalling (and unfortunately correct) warning of the anti-Semitism commissioner, who discourages jews from wearing kippas all over the country.”
“Anyone who is a Jew has to hide that for over seven decades after the Holocaust in order to be safe everywhere in Germany. There is only one answer: No, that must not be! If that is so, if it stays that way, we will fail before our story,” Reichelt wrote, the paragraph italicized for emphasis.
“That’s why BILD today brings a Kippah to cut. Craft, dear reader, this Kippah. Wear it for your friends and neighbors to see. Tell your children what the kippah is. Post a photo with Kippah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Take Kippah out onto the street.
“If only one person in our country can not wear kippah without endangering himself, the answer can only be that we all wear kippah. The Kippah belongs to Germany!
Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, told BILD in a statement, “The concealment of Jewish identity can not be the answer to the growing phenomenon of anti-Semitism in Germany.” Instead, he said, the safety of the Jewish community in Germany should be guaranteed by means of “education in the broader sense and strict enforcement with the full force of the law.”
Issacharoff warned, “Anti-Semitism threatens and targets not only Jews, but also the foundations of German democracy.”
According to Germany’s government anti-Semitism Commissioner Felix Klein, meanwhile, on June 6, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers plan to “ensure that dealing with anti-Semitism and racism is part of teacher training,” and that “expansion of the nationwide reporting center for anti-Semitic incidents” is being promoted.