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Germans confront latent anti-Semitism

27 Jan 2012, 10:39

Published: 27 Jan 2012 10:39 GMT+01:00

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Jan Riebe’s aunt was visiting him in Berlin a few years ago when she suggested they visit the city’s sprawling Holocaust Memorial in the heart of the German capital.

His aunt was around 75 at the time and living in western Germany. She had worked for many years in the fur business, where she maintained that she dealt a lot with Jews.

As the two listened to a guide’s explanation of the exhibit, his aunt leaned over and made a remark about the guide.

“He has to be a Jew. I recognize that from the fur industry,” she said.

Riebe, who heads the anti-Semitism department at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, offered the story as an example of the not so hidden stereotypes many Germans have of Jews. The foundation is named after an Angolan guest worker who was murdered by neo-Nazis in 1990 – one of the first racist murders following the fall of the Berlin Wall the year before.

A study sponsored by the German parliament the Bundestag that was officially presented this week showed that some 20 percent of Germans harbour “latent” anti-Semitic views.

Riebe and others say the figure may be low.

“I think it’s actually higher,” said Wolfgang Battermann at a reception for the 12th annual Obermayer awards on Monday. Battermann was one of five award recipients this year of an honour presented to non-Jewish Germans who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to preserving the memory of their local Jewish communities.

Battermann and several other award winners talked about the difficulties they had getting information and of resistance by some who didn’t want to deal with their town’s Jewish past.

“Most people weren’t so open about it,” said Werner Schubert, a former Hitler youth leader and Nazi soldier, who dug up information about the Jewish community in the Saxony town of Weisswasser. After years of work he brought to light the accomplishments of Joseph Schweig, a German Jewish industrialist who was largely responsible for the town’s growth.

Schubert, a small man in his late 80s, said he told an acquaintance about his efforts to uncover Weisswasser’s Jewish past. The acquaintance – an army officer in what was once communist East Germany, couldn’t understand why Schubert would bother with the Jews. “First the Germans persecuted the Jews, now the Jews are persecuting the Germans,” Schubert said he was told. But he stressed that this was an exception: “Most people aren’t so open about this.”

Which is what the Bundestag-backed study said. Riebe noted that Germans know that people who openly offer anti-Semitic remarks can be prosecuted under German law, so they keep their views private. But he suspects classical Jewish stereotypes – like the one his aunt expressed – namely that Jews are involved in luxury goods – or others such as Jews all have a lot of money, or that Jews are cheap, abound.

He said if people are asked in a survey if they have anything against Jews, they will say no, whether that is true or not, because “they know they have to answer with no.”

Few Germans know Jews personally. Before the war there were about 600,000 Jews living in Germany. Figures from the Central Council of Jews in Germany show 105,000 registered community members, though many experts believe there are two or three times as many Jews living in Germany. They don’t show up in the numbers because they are not official members of the Jewish community and don’t pay taxes to support it. There some 82 million people living in Germany.

Story continues below…

A poll released Wednesday by the magazine Stern showed that one fifth of Germans aged between 18 and 29 did not know that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp. And 31 percent of all Germans did not know that Auschwitz is in Poland.

On Friday, Holocaust survivors and others will commemorate the 67th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz, a notorious concentration camp where up to 1.5 million people were murdered by the Nazis.

Riebe said his organisation – the Amadeu Antonio Foundation – works to combat racism of any kind and offers workshops to combat anti-Semitism. Some of the topics include being aware of Israel-related anti-Semitism, that is when individuals or groups use their criticism of Israeli policy as a backdoor cover for their anti-Jewish views.

He believes that anti-Semitic sentiments can be reduced, but Germany will never be complete free of them.

“There will always be a certain base for anti-Semitism. You can reduce it, but you can’t get rid of it,” he said.

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Your comments about this article

11:12 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
And here we go again...

"A study sponsored by the German parliament the Bundestag that was officially presented this week showed that some 20 percent of Germans harbour ¦quot;latent¦quot; anti-Semitic views."

Why didn't they mention that in Poland, Ukraine and Portugal the number of those who support anti-semitic ideas is much higher. Do you know that 90 to 95% of the members of Jewish communities in Düsseldorf and Köln (which belong to the biggest Jewish communities in Germany) come from Eastern Europe? Why do the especially come from Eastern Europe?

"He said if people are asked in a survey if they have anything against Jews, they will say no, whether that is true or not, because ¦quot;they know they have to answer with no.¦quot; "

Well, I think in Britain, the U.S., Australia, France and in many other nations this will exactly be the same.

"Some of the topics include being aware of Israel-related anti-Semitism, that is when individuals or groups use their criticism of Israeli policy as a backdoor cover for their anti-Jewish views."

And this is the big problem - of course there are people who use criticism of Israeli policy as a backdoor cover for anti-semtism, but for heaven' sake not ALL of them.

Who decides whether criticims is anti-semitic or not?

The problem is that the Israelis a very fast with smashing even constructive criticism by saying this kind of criticism would be anti-semitic.
11:22 January 27, 2012 by JDee
Churn, churn, churn, this non-story started on the BBC last week, which media agency is behind the story and how paid for it to pe pushed into the news? Is this about reminding us not to criticse Israel before they launch yet another racist war against the people of Iran?
11:40 January 27, 2012 by T.J. Morton
"...they launch yet another racist war against the people of Iran..."

How is it a racist war? The people of Iran are of semitic origin just as the people of Israel. Religious war... perhaps - racist war... not so much!
11:47 January 27, 2012 by raandy
So about 20% of Germans harbor latend anti semitic views or most likely they had an 80% overal approval rating of Jews.

That sounds about correct to me , as I have only my own observations on the subject. That number would most likely be the same in most western nations including the USA.

So what is the big deal here ,should we all love the jews? and strive for a 100% approval? not going to happen...so lets move on.
12:01 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ raandy: Yes, I'm with you. We should love people who are nice and tolerant no matter where they come from - the only problem is that the Germans are asked to love and be nice to every individual with a Jewish background no matter how nice they are to them, just because they are Jewish.

When it comes to the 20% I tend to wonder how many people with muslim background living in Germany were asked. From what I have experienced many Turkish, Arabian and Persian people living in Germany are - let's say - not fond of Israel and Jewish people in general (see the Turkish-Israeli and in particular Iranian-Israeli conflict).

However I was not amazed by reading the result of this poll, especially when you take in consideration that a BBC poll revealed that Israel and Iran are regarded as the two countries which have the most negative effects on worldwide politics.
12:12 January 27, 2012 by Gretl
"But he suspects classical Jewish stereotypes ­ like the one his aunt expressed ­ namely that Jews are involved in luxury goods ­ or others such as Jews all have a lot of money, or that Jews are cheap, abound."

Stereotypes, especially ones based in historic fact, is not anti-semetism. Being able to recognize a member of a genetic sub-group, like Irish, Navaho, or Thais, based on physical features in not anti-Semitism, it's how our brain works. Nobody criticizes people's ability to tell a pug from a French bull terrier. One could rephrase the aunt's sentence in terms of dog breeds as, "I recognize that Swiss Mountain Dog from my time working at the vet's clinic." Could she be wrong? Of course! It could be a clippered Burmese Mountain Dog. Our brains look for patterns. Stereotyping is a bad name given to human brains grouping like with like based on observations.
12:33 January 27, 2012 by JDee
Gretl expresses eloquently why this is a complete non-story. The real story here should be, Why does the local publish it? Which lobbyists, media agencies push the story? Who do they work for? What is their agenda? Solve this problem and anti-semitism can be consigned to history where it belongs

"How is it a racist war?", ok not the best choice of words, but I was simplifying, I would say a mixture of religious, racist and nationalistic bigotry, at least this what has to be induced in the public of Israel, Western Europe and the USA inorder to make us accept that these bad people deserve to be bombed. As for the actual motivations behind the war, it's baffling, who will gain?
12:35 January 27, 2012 by Navigator_B
The confusion about Auschwitz not being a death camp is probably because the main image of Auschwitz is of the forced labour camp in the same area (the one in the picture above with the Arbeit Macht Frei sign).

The labour camp's occupants would have died or been killed eventually but it was built to exploit their labour, unlike the extermination camp which was separate and was built to kill about a million Jews.

The labour camp is more famous because it survived intact and now attracts a lot of tourists, unlike the extermination camp which was mostly destroyed by the Nazis at the end of the war.   
13:09 January 27, 2012 by raandy
Navigator_b, Yes, for the most part Auschwitz was a labor facility,Belzec,Chelmno,Sobibor and Treblinka were the main "Final Solution" facilities where the people were immediately dispatched. Although no one survived the gas chambers of Auschwitz,(brought there after the closure of the above more than 100,000 survived the concentration camp by the same name.
13:13 January 27, 2012 by Englishted
Just in case some of you don't know why this story came out today it is because today is

Holocaust Memorial Day

Plus I would answer a couple of points

1:HelloOutThere the reason the German parliament's report does not name and shame other countries is because they didn't look into them in the report .

On the other points I agree with your comment.

2:JDee which "racist was that then because I don't recall one from 1948 till now?
13:15 January 27, 2012 by Navigator_B
"Some of the topics include being aware of Israel-related anti-Semitism, that is when individuals or groups use their criticism of Israeli policy as a backdoor cover for their anti-Jewish views".

Does Mr Riebe have any evidence that criticism of Israeli policy is a cover for anti-semitism or is he even more guilty of stereotyping than his aunt who associated Jews with the fur industry? 
13:42 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ Englishted:

I'm sorry, but this time I have to disagree with you.

http://www.wienerzeitung.at/themen_channel/wz_europa/europaeische_union/429696_Comeback-des-Antisemitismus-in-Europa.html .

In the article above (link - German language article) and other articles they stated that they actually must have had a look into other countries, because otherwise they would not have been able to say that when it comes to anti-semitism Germany takes a middle position compared to other countries, especially Poland, Ukraine and Portugal whose societies seem to hold deep anti-semitism.

As I already mentioned the fact that in Poland, Ukraine and other Eastern European states anti-semitism is still deeply rooted in the society also matches with the fact that 90 to 95% of the memebers of the Jewish communities in Cologne and Düsseldorf for instance come from Eastern European countries. (When you go to their websites who will actually see that you can choose between the German, English AND Russian language).

Compared to Germany these countries (like many other countries) did not have such a deep look into the dark chapters of their history at all.

My opinion on the Holocaust is that the post war generations can not be blamed/are not responsible for what happened at that particular time, BUT they are in deed responsible for keeping up the memory so that a second Holocaust will neither happen in Germany nor in any other country again.

(Tough I have to admit that I fear that in order to prevent a second Holocaust from happening other countries need to have a closer look at the dark chapters of their very own history).
14:02 January 27, 2012 by sebastian2010
I am sick of reading about the poor Jews in WW2 all the time. Time to move on. It happend before our life time, yet I read about it almost every day.

I do not like every Jew I know and I do not like every German or American I know.

Ps Jew Have Blood on thier hands too.
14:23 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
Yes, in deed they do have blood on their hands - just like many other nations (including the German nation). Just need to have a look at the Israeli policy of settlement - oh wait - now I'm an anti-semitic German...
14:28 January 27, 2012 by storymann
sebastian2010, I can understand your flustration with the topic, however it is considered the evil of the century.

The book "The Bloodlands" by Timothy Snyder considered the most important work of history in years, will give you some newer insight on just how evil it was.

Many nations in that century have blood on their hands but none compare with Hitlers Holocaust.
14:43 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ Jimbob_77:

Oh please, can you leave us alone with these fundamentalitic idiots? Thank you!
14:46 January 27, 2012 by cat3
Just by reading the comments here it's pretty safe to say that the 20% figure is way low. If Germany actually allowed free speech, I think it would be shocking at the true figure. Just need to scratch the surface and watch what wells up. Things haven't changed all that much.
14:49 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ storyman: Stalin was responsible for the death of 45 to 50 million people. The U.S. Americans used to make war in Korea, Vietnam, the Iraq and so on. How many innocent people were killed during that wars?

Yes, the by far worst thing of the 20th century was the Holocaust, but history does not only consist of the 20th century, it also consists of many other centuries.
15:03 January 27, 2012 by storymann
HelloOutThere, Your numbers are way off, the number is around 20 million.and most were through collectivization resulting in starvation. We are talking about an ethnic group of people that were to be eradicated completely in the most inhumane ways that anyone could invision, read the book get some facts and some knowledge.

we are talking about the 1900,s not the dark ages, lets stick with the topic.
15:03 January 27, 2012 by derExDeutsche
I am sure the Jews of Germany feel safe with HalloOutThere and a few other theLocal.de readers around.
15:16 January 27, 2012 by LecteurX
I understand most people's points here but I don't get why the response is so overwhelmingly negative. All nations have blood on their hands. Definitely. However, Germany invaded almost all the European continent, caused immense suffering and killed millions of people, AND suffered immensely as a consequence of this. The country was brought to the brink of total annihilation because of the evil it caused. Check out "Morgenthau plan", there was even an Allied plan to actually dismember Germany totally as a political entity. So it's fair that there is ongoing research about the notion of anti-semitism in Germany, because it almost brought about the end of Germany, simple.

We have to acknowledge Germany did a remarkable job, compared to most (or possibly, all) nations in the world in exploring the dark chapters of its history. It was partly forced to do so in order to become a democracy and get accepted as such by the rest of the world (at a time when Stalin was purging Jews out of the party), but also there was something more existential for Germany at stake there. The country is doing itself a favour by relentlessly confronting anti-semitism as it does.

I agree with HelloOutThere that there are many countries that are far more anti-semitic than Germany, and these are countries where the Jews were consistently persecuted throughout history. Maybe stating this would give a different tone to the article, but it's not essential to it. In addition, you would not be really fighting anti-semitism in a country like Germany if you were constantly saying "there is some antisemitism in Germany, right, but it's nothing compared to Ukraine and Poland"... this would sound like all is fine and there is nothing to be done then.

Re - "Semites": Iranian people are not, repeat, NOT Semites. The Persian language they speak, and the other regional languages of Iran, are not Semitic languages, they are Indo-European languages and are related to Russian, Greek, German, Latin, Hindu, etc, but not to Arabic, except for words introduced by Islam (but then a lot of Arabic also crept into the Spanish language).

@ Sebastian2010 - If you aren't interested in the topic, why did you bother read the article and comment then? Do you write this on every article on any topic you're not interested in, or do you react this way only on the topic of the Holocaust and WW2? Maybe you should just start your newspaper and make sure it covers only stories you're interested in.
15:19 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ storyman: The numbers are not way off - Stalin is held responsible for the death of at least 40 million people and I don't think that letting people starving to death is a much "better" way to die. I got "some" facts and "some knowledge.

@ derExDeutsche: Well, the Jews of Germany actually can feel very safe, because I would never hurt any human being. My comment #14 referred to the fact that there are in deed some Jewish people who use to classify even constructive cristicism on Israel as anti-semitism.
15:35 January 27, 2012 by storymann
You are still missing the point. I am not interested in educating you ,you need to undertake that endever all by yourself, because you would like it to be that way does not make it so.

No question Stalin was a monster, but we are talking about the Holocaust ,maybe next time we will be enriched with a Stalin episode.

You need to focus on the subject and stop looking to mollify it with other dictators.
15:51 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
Thank you storymann, I'm also not interested in being educated by you as I am fully capable of educating myself. I don't want anything in history to be the way I want it to be - I want to know how it really happened. Though I have to admit that sometimes history can in deed be very subjective and that there is not always one "truth".

I do not justify the awful things that were done to other people by the Germans during the Second World War.

And we do both agree that Hitler and Stalin belong to the worst criminals of the 20th century. As I already stated in post #18 the Holocaust was of course the by far worst crime of the 20th century, even the worst crime in history.

However pointing out that the Germans were not the only ones who commited (war) crimes on other nations/people (what was my intention in the first part of post #18 is simply true and seems right to me.
16:06 January 27, 2012 by browndude
I am neither a German nor of Jewish heritage. So far in my life, I haven't been exposed to any Jewish culture except that of my friends and stereotypical depiction of Jews on TV. So I will try to focus on Germans. I find Germans are very amicable people and would love to help. It is not fair that the world keeps beating them up for the Holocaust. It is true that people anywhere in the world can behave the way they did during the Holocaust. It is not a German trait. The Brits, Turks, Hutus, early American settlers, Russians etc. and the list can go on and on who did worse crimes. I think Germans are very nice people. It is not fair to categorize them as racists by one war. It is like saying all Black people are criminals or all White people are racists. There are elements of bad people everywhere i.e. Nations / Ethnic Groups / Religious Groups etc..

Please keep in mind that everyone is entitled to be proud of their cultural heritage, country, food, religious background. When they express that, it is not they are conspiring or hate everyone else.

I think Germans are proud (and should be proud) of their heritage, especially before early 20th century and post WWII for trying to correct their past and moving forward. So, please stop bashing Germans and labeling them racists!

Peace and Love!
16:11 January 27, 2012 by storymann
Lets let it be , but What Stalin and Hitler did were not war crimes they were crimes against humanity, they intended to annihilate ethnic groups of people they deemed unworthy of living,by the most horrific means, others since then that have been complicate in crimes against humanity are far less than those in comparison.

Check out the book I mentioned it is available at Amazon.de and is all about Salin and Hitler, it is far more researched than most older versions of that period with a lot of new information that was not available after the war. It will give you a better picture as to how horrific it really was.
16:18 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ storymann: I would say both: Crimes against humanity and war crimes. This is why I wrote "(war) crimes".
16:22 January 27, 2012 by LecteurX
@ browndude - this is a very good and thought-out post. However, in this very article, it's not, as you say "the world beating them up for the Holocaust"... it's Germans beating themselves up for this! See this in the article: "A study sponsored by the German parliament the Bundestag that was officially presented this week showed that some 20 percent of Germans harbour ¦quot;latent¦quot; anti-Semitic views."

It's a constant trait of post-war Germany and it is mostly a good thing, in my humble opinion. It should be upt to the Brits, Turks, Hutus, Russians, Americans, etc, to also address the horrors of their not so recent past as Germans are doing. It is an honest way of celebrating your heritage, by feeling proud about the great achievements, but also for taking an honest look at what went wrong.

As storymann says, here, the topic is Holocaust in Germany and how it is remembered or not in Germany today. That's the topic, and just that.
16:32 January 27, 2012 by storymann
Good night ,Hello Out there :-) let me know at some point if you have read the book and we can compare thoughts
16:41 January 27, 2012 by chriscopy
Interesting discussion or moreso the broader topic of prejudice. Racism thrives on a lack of knowledge about the subject at hand and a habit of generalizing. Prejudice exists in all countries or at least the 9 I lived and worked in, including my native country. As a people are educated and a society evolves into a civilized one this dissipates somewhat but will never disappear altogether. It is probably best to accept this fact and judge an individual rather than a race as there is good and bad in everyone.
19:05 January 27, 2012 by kalimkhan
We, the responsible authorities & organizations of Germany or Jewish Israel should now be asking the real question i.e. the root of this Jewish massacare----"Why Hitler had choosen only Jewish people to go aginst them. Why not Polish people, why not Italian people, why not Russian people, why not Middle Eastern people, why not French and English people, why not other ethnic people in the World????

My own observation is:

Having lived in Germany in mid. fifties, and I had travelled extensively in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, I found a real cause of Hitler building up hatred against Jews while he was growing up in Austria as a teenager. He saw the Jews owned a monopoly of local business-small to large stores and banks where the money dictates the outcome of the welfare of ordinary people of Austria. This hatred of Hitler later on spreaded beyond Austria to Munich when he had moved there. Hitler had this natural God given talent of making speeches, and most people in Germany and Austria got trapped into belief of his hatred against Jews. Then, the rest of the World's history spoke for itself.

We, as a responsible people and organization --both in Germany and Israel- must recognize the fact that the root of this problem before this kind of tragidy ever occurs again.

Moreover, why there is so much fuss about Auschwitz massacare, why there is no mention about Russian leader Stalin's massacare of killing of his own 30 millions innocent people??????
19:29 January 27, 2012 by Ricardoh
Time to move on and start having babies again.
19:30 January 27, 2012 by carlm
You don't need a government study to know anti-Semitism is alive and well in Germany, or Europe for that matter, all you have to do is read comments by the likes of HelloOutThere, JDee and sebastian2010. A real classy bunch.
19:56 January 27, 2012 by Chupaki
Hi, I'm Portuguese. Just read above about Portugal anti-semitic views. Guess you can add anti-american as well if you follow the logic of labelling "anti-people" anyone that criticizes what your government is doing, seems to be politically easier than to accept that criticism.

I'm completely fed up of hearing about the 6 years of Nazi slaughtering as the Germans are actually the only people that recognize (even if by force) their mistakes and have suffered it by being treated as villains for decades.

Everyone completely closed their eyes to the genocide in Rwanda, one million people. It's like if the Holocaust was a registered trademark of the Jewish people and no other genocide mattered. And there have been several other genocides after WW2. The world has not learned the lesson and I would hope the Jewish people would play a major part advocating against such genocides, but I do understand that build back a nation after so much centuries is a major task by itself.

Frankly, I personally do establish some parallels between some Jewish branches that consider the Jewish people "special" in the eyes of God and also the wild colonates when compared with the Nazi mentality, about the Arian supremacy over other peoples.

But so much wrong is still being done now, that I don't understand this obsession with the past, even if latent. I'd like to see Israel taking peace conversations seriously, agreeing on a territory and remove any colonate that was established after that agreement. Anything else is like a very slow version of the gas chamber taking 30 years or more to suffocate another people.

Now, I did state quite objectively my criticisms against certain policies and mentalities present in Israel, and I've seen moderate Jews sharing the same opinions. But isn't it more convenient to the other to just label me as "anti-semite"? Just a thought...
20:07 January 27, 2012 by HelloOutThere
@ carlm:

Where am I anti-semitic? When I say that there are some people who use to brand constructive criticism on Israeli policy as anti-semitic I'm simply right. Quite contrary to what YOU say I am actually very interested in Jewish religion and culture and I hope that one day Jewish religion and culture in Germany can tie in with the situation before 1933, because Jewish life actually played a vital part in Germany thourghout the centuries.

Furthermore I don't have to be insulted by someone like YOU.

Good night
20:45 January 27, 2012 by Antone
The siege of Stalingrad was a horrible waste of Russian lives. The Nazis threw themselves at Russia and the Russians dug in and annihilated the German army. When I read about the firebombing of Dresden I feel it was a just and fair return for the Blitz and all the other atrocities that the Nazis did. I am anti-Nazi. Not anti-German. But for the life of me I don't see how the people of Germany cheered and carried on as the German war machine had some initial success. Blame the Jews? The USA, Britain and Russia kicked the living crap out of Hitler. To bad he did not die from hunger like so many Europeans did. By the way, Is it still proper to boil your tap water in Germany. So many fragmented body parts rotting in the soil and water. Taste like death.
21:30 January 27, 2012 by DrGideonPolya
Anti-Semitism is damage to Semites in word or deed for being ethnically or culturally Semites per se and is repugnant like any other racism because people cannot .help being born or raised as they have been. Anti-Semitism comes in 2 equally repugnant forms today, anti-Arab Anti-Semitism including Islamophobia (there being 300 million ethnically and culturally Semitic Arabs and 1,500 million culturally Semitic Muslims) and anti-Jewish anti-Semitism (there big some 15 million culturally Semitic Jews).

The most pervasive and deadly form of anti-Semitism today is anti-Arab anti-Semtism - Islamophobia is publicly espoused by media and politicians in the West and the US Alliance (including Germany) War on Muslims has killed 12 million Muslims since 1990, the breakdown of violent deaths plus avoidable deaths from war- and occupation-imposed deprivation being 4.6 million (Iraq, 1990-2012), 2.2 million (Somalia, 1992-2012), 5.0 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2012, 50,000 (Libya, 2011-2012) (Google "Iraqi Holocaust", "Iraqi Genocide", "Afghan Holocaust","Afghan Genocide", "Muslim Holocaust", "Muslim Genocide", "Libyan Genocide").

The biggest source today of both anti-Arab anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish anti-Semitism are the racist Zionists (RZs) and their neo-fascist Western Establishment supporters who are responsible for the Palestinian Genocide (0.1 million Palestinians violently killed, 1.9 million avoidable deaths from war-, expulsion- and occupation-imposed deprivation, 7 million refugees); virulent encouragement of Islamophobia and the deadly US War on Muslims; false conflation of decent, anti-racist Jews with the appalling crimes of genocidal, race-based Apartheid Israel; and utterly false defamation as "anti-Semitic" of decent anti-racist Jews and non-Jews critical of the appalling crimes of racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel (Google "Jews Against Racist Zionism" and "Non-Jews Against racist Zionism").

Outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Bertell Ollman (New York University) has stated: "Furthermore, if Zionism is indeed a particularly virulent form of nationalism and, increasingly, of racism and if Israel is acting toward its captive minority in ways that resemble more and more how the Nazis treated their Jews, then we must also say so. For obvious reasons, the Zionists are very sensitive about being compared to the Nazis (not so sensitive that it has restrained them in their actions but enough to bellow "unfair" and to charge "anti-Semitism" when it happens). Yet, the facts on the ground, when not obscured by one or another Zionist rationalization, show that the Zionists are the worst anti-Semites in the world today, oppressing a Semitic people as no nation has done since the Nazis."
22:45 January 27, 2012 by tvhg
I would just add that being anti-Israeli doesn't make you anti Jewish/anti-semitic
22:48 January 27, 2012 by JAMessersmith

By that same logic, did Iraq deserve to be destroyed by America? The Iraqi people had propped up a ruthless dictator for decades, and had cheered when the Iraqi war machine massacred Kurds and Iranians en masse. Were the Iraqi people to blame for the actions of their authoritarian government?

We've either undergone a drastic shift in thinking in modern times, or we simply single out Germans, because, by most standards, people view the Iraqi people as Saddam's first victims, rather than his "willing executioners". If every man, woman and child who lives under an oppressive government deserves to be burned to death, the world would be short a few billion people (especially if we count China among them).

Humans are individuals, not nations. Nationhood is a social construct. And, the poor and working classes (i.e. the vast majority of the population) have little control over or recourse against their government. But I do find it odd that people seem to think the German populace is somehow to blame for Hitler's actions (because they didn't stop him), yet everyone else who lives, or has lived under dictatorial rule (like the Iraqis, or the Cambodians, or the Ugandans) are victims of their government. Double standards, perhaps? It almost strikes me as racist; as if more is expected out of white people.
00:04 January 28, 2012 by getreal
The israel's continue playing the Holocaust card so they can continue the inhuman treatment of the Palestinians. Terrorism could have been stopped years ago had they given the Palastinians a place to call their own. Unfortunately Jewish money in America calls the shots. Whenever public opinion turns away from the Israel's they cry 'anti-Semitism'.
00:29 January 28, 2012 by aslanleon
My relatives are mostly engaged in the luxury trade, rich, and cheap. We prefer thrifty, but there you have it. They're German.
08:14 January 28, 2012 by cat3
Yep, after reading the comments here, I think it is safe to say that the 20% figure is very low. Lots of good nazi supporters posting. I am curious about one thing though, when you guy throw the right handed salute and start to goose step, do you lead with the right boot or the left boot?
13:38 January 28, 2012 by Stephen Goodson
I have always been a little puzzled regarding the meaning of the word anti-Semitism, in view of the fact that 90-95% of all Jews do not have any Semitic genes. These Ashkenazim Jews originate from the Kingdom of Khazaria in what is now southern Russia. In the 8th century AD their King Bulan decided that his unruly pagan people needeed a religion. Out of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, he settled for the last one and imported 50 rabbis from Babylon. So perhaps anti-Jewish is the more appropriate word.

As to whether Adolf Hitler was anti-Jewish, we need to remind ouselves that his chauffeur and bodyguard in the 1920's, who saved his life on several occasions was Emil Maurice who was Jewish. He also had several Jews in his cabinet, like Labor Minister Dr Robert Ley (real name Levy). Furthermore there were over 150 000 Jews, half-Jews and quarter-Jews serving in the Wehrmacht, including 11 generals and admirals. The most famous one was Field Marshal Erhard Milch of the Luftwaffe, who was a half-Jew.
16:38 January 28, 2012 by storymann
JAMessersmith, I think the logic of the 3rd Reich was to eliminate completely the countries of Poland.Russia ,Belarus in operation Barbarossa and make it their land removing and killing the inhabitants ,through starvation, and execution and forced labor and relocation , millions died as a result. The plan failed as the Germans grossly underestimated the Russians ,all the time keeping the Final Solution for the Jewish problem operating and an extremely rapid rate of death, in their now famous death camps.

I fail to see the comparison or logic of this by the US Military in Iraq.
17:04 January 28, 2012 by Paul S Schueller
Unfortunately, there is anti-semitism everywhere, which was originally "promoted" by the church. This has been taught to youngsters for 2000 years and is difficult to erase. Now the church is trying hard to stop this and promote a more liberal thinking, but the current anti-semites have been so brainwashed that it is difficult to do. What is most difficult for anti-semites to fathom is that Germans are Germans; there are Catholic Germans and Jewish Germans, and it is the same in every country. Judaism is merely a different religion.

Paul S. Schueller

White Plains, NY
20:32 January 28, 2012 by JDee
I've been on this planet 40 years and I've never ever met anyone personally that was anti-semitic. I've also never been friends with a Jew that didn't eat bacon sandwiches, vegeterians included! And I bet their are dozens of people that I've known over the years who were Jewish but never mentioned it and it never mattered. Germany and the UK are liberal modern socities where religion doesn't really play that bigger role in most people lives. It is for this reason that it annoys me that lobby groups from outside of our society are actively seeking to police our media.

We just don't need stories like this one, it is sh** stirring plane and simple!
12:51 January 29, 2012 by lozzshakes
I am English and I have no experience of jewish culture but I have of German culture and have always found the German people to be very nice, in fact I find most people of the world in my travels to be amicable. Most country have had a bloody and evil past including the UK, and whilst there are certain anniversaries that we should remember, we should not be holding current generations responsible for events that happened in the past.

Media will always make things seem much worse than they are and wrongly apportion blame as well as seek to make other countries appear worse than their own when it comes to racism etc in order to detract from real issues at home.
12:51 January 29, 2012 by Talonx
@ The Local

World context? Where are the comparisons, how are we to know whether this is exceptional information if you don't provide comparisons?
13:52 January 29, 2012 by Bruce in Vancouver
I'm in Canada and I know we have different laws, but why is it so important that everyone has to like the jew? If you don't, you must be an evil racist, that has been infected with anti-semitism. Yes, that's right, they're calling anti-semitism an infection, as in a mental disorder. This has to stop...now.
22:32 January 29, 2012 by Craptastic
Read Denis McShane's book, Globalising Hatred. McShane is proof that educated Brits make it to the government.
20:53 January 31, 2012 by Bruno53
HA HA! No need to tell me: I can see it with the large number of young Germans in neonazi groups. Anyway, maybe Germany should be divided again to have it under control? And remember, I admire and love the Germany that gave us Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. And I hate the Germany that gave us Adolf Hitler and his Nazi gang of thugs.
08:52 February 16, 2012 by Doggy
@ HalloOutThere,

Thank you for your nice comments. Actually, I would had bombed Auschwitz using my flying skills. It's great to hear about a fact you are interested in a Jewish Culture. If you have a time and if you are around Frankfurt University, then think about some of the founders. Hmm, not at all you are not being an anti-semitic German for saying what you think in other comments.
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