• Germany's news in English
Anti-Semitism 'widespread' among German extreme left
File photo of a German synagogue. Photo: DPA

Anti-Semitism 'widespread' among German extreme left

The Local · 18 Jul 2016, 13:05

Published: 18 Jul 2016 13:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jul 2016 13:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Thirty-four percent of those categorized by the research group as "extreme left" agreed with the statement that Jews had “too much influence” in Germany.

Even among the radical left - which differs from the 'extreme left' in the definitions used by the study in that extreme left attitudes are incompatible with democracy and the German constitution - the figure of those agreeing with the statement was worringly high, at 16 percent.

On average, one in ten of those surveyed agreed with the statement.

The study included an online survey of 36,000 people. Those on the extreme left and radical left, as determined by the survey, made up 17 percent of respondents, of which four percent were left extremists.

A high proportion of the far left agreed with the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are “greedy”. Thirty-four percent of the extreme left, and 13 percent of the left affirmed the statement, while across the entire political spectrum, that number fell to eight percent on average.

The FU study also looked at the use of violence by the far left. The research group argues that while the far left does not represent a "current threat" to German democracy, the propensity to use violence is likely to increase.

The researchers behind the study, Monika Deutz-Schroeder and Klaus Schroeder, said that the far left were not a "current threat to German democracy" but warned that the propensity to use violence was likely to rise.

Fourteen percent of respondents on the extreme left consider politically motivated violence to be justified, compared to an average of seven percent in wider German society.

According to the Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, which looks at activities on the far left and far right, as well as Islamic extremists, the number of violent left extremists has not seen an increase in recent years.

However, Schroeder criticized the fact that many politically motivated acts of violence are not officially linked to left-wing extremists.

For example, he told Die Welt that, according to the official report, 600 violent crimes each year are carried out by "non-extreme" leftists. But Schroeder argued that "anyone who tries to create political change through violence is an extremist. Period."

Story continues below…

Moreover, he pointed to deficiences in the report regarding the number of offences classified as non-extremist left violence.  There was a difference between state and federal reports; for example, the Berlin report listed 361 violent offences motivated by leftist ideology, while the federal report only recorded 83 such instances.

"This is a significant difference, which the authorities were not able to account for at our request."

Back in January, Jewish groups in Germany protested against government insistence that anti-Semitism was not on the rise in the country, with many saying they feared violence. Four hundred and one anti-Semitic incidents were reported in 2015 - a 34 percent rise on the previous year - and in June this year, a young man in Berlin was beaten for wearing a kippah.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd