A full 27 percent of all Germans and 18 percent of a population group categorized as “elite” – or university graduates with an annual income of at least €100,000 – have anti-Semitic thoughts, according to the survey.
Another 41 percent think that Jews talk too much about the Holocaust, the representative survey of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), reported in German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, showed.
Yet every fourth interviewee considered it possible that “something like the Holocaust can repeat itself in Germany today”.
The WJC, the umbrella organization of Jewish communities and organizations from more than 100 countries, had interviewed 1,300 people around Germany two and a half months before the attack on the synagogue in Halle.
The overwhelming majority of the population furthermore sees growing anti-Semitism as a trend, and associates it with the success of right-wing extremist parties.
The connection is recognized by 65 percent of Germans and 76 percent of the “elite.”
Twenty-eight percent of them claim that Jews have too much power in the economy, while 26 percent think that they have “too much power in world politics” – statements that belong to the classic repertoire of anti-Semitism.
Almost half of them (48 percent) claim that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Germany.
Growing willingness to take action
At the same time, according to the study, there is a growing willingness in Germany to take action against anti-Semitism.
Two thirds of the “elite” would sign a petition against it, and one third of all respondents would take to the streets against anti-Semitism.
About 60 percent felt that Jews are exposed to a risk of violence or hateful verbal attacks. Nevertheless, only 44 percent at the time were concerned about violence against Jews or Jewish institutions.
The President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, said that anti-Semitism had reached a crisis point in Germany.
“It is time for the whole of German society to take a stand and fight anti-Semitism head-on,” said Lauder.
“Germany has a unique obligation to prevent the return of intolerance and hatred. If more than a quarter of society identifies with anti-Semitism, it is time for the remaining three quarters to defend democracy and tolerant societies.”
University graduates – (die) Hochschulabsolventen
Growing anti-Semitism – Wachsender Antisemitismus
statements/assertions – (die) Aussagen
A unique obligation – eine einmalige Verpflichtung
Defend – verteidigen
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