Felix Klein, Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner, on Saturday warned the country's Jewish population about the potential dangers of donning the kippa, a traditional Jewish skullcap, in public.
Klein said his position on the matter has changed over time, citing a rise in anti-Semitic activity in Germany, mostly on the far right of the political spectrum, including from leaders of the Alternative for Germany Party who have openly questioned Germany's policy of atonement for the Holocaust and other World War II atrocities, France 24 reports. "The internet and social media have largely contributed to this," he said in an interview published by the Funke regional press group. "But so have constant attacks against our culture of remembrance."
Official figures show there were 1,646 hate crimes committed against Jews in Germany in 2018, a sharp increase from the year prior. Klein also suggested police, teachers, and lawyers should receive better training to recognize anti-Semitic behavior.
Recently, Berlin's top legal expert on anti-Semitism, Claudia Vanoni, toldAgence France-Presse that while the issue has always been "deeply rooted" in German society, "it has become louder, more aggressive, and flagrant." Tim O'Donnell