Photo Credit: Twitter
German police need to protect Jewish symbols in Berlin

For the fourth time in just a few years, a Jewish-owned neighborhood bar in Lichtenberg, Berlin – named, ironically, ‘Tomorrow Will Be Better’ — has again been attacked.

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This time, the pub was torched late Friday afternoon, and burned almost completely. Oddly, the apartments in the building above the bar were serenely untouched, and there were no injuries.

According to a report by the World Zionist Organization, police confirmed the fire commissioner in the police criminal division is investigating a “serious arson” and that state security is investigating a “political motive.”

Last Monday, the owner of the bar received a threatening phone call: “I want you to be gone,” WZO reported. Similar calls have made the owner’s life a misery in recent years. In 2019, burglars dumped cola over the counter and tables before escaping with the cash register.

Local residents who requested anonymity – as has the owner of the bar – told Der Tagesspiegel that the bar and its Jewish owner have become targeted by neo-Nazis. The bar was also sprayed with anti-Semitic slogans and motifs.

“The Jewish owner has been threatened for years,” Der Tagesspiegel reported. The owner moved to Lichtenberg in 2012, and initially had a restaurant, which he then converted to a bar two years later.

Five men “with bald heads and combat boots” were said to have come into the restaurant, and then to have continued with the bar, harassing the owner. “You Jews are like cockroaches,” one would say to him. Now and then, there would be a sticker found in the bar, like “Foreigners safe trip home.”

A solidarity rally was organized by the neighborhood to express the support of the residents for the bar’s owner.

“My local pub was torched,” wrote local resident Hanna Reichhardt in a post on Twitter. “A presumably right-wing arson attack. Against our Kiezkneipe, which has a Jewish owner. Expressions of solidarity and rallies organized by the neighbors. I hate and I love this neighborhood.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.