By Toby Axelrod, JTA—
It is dangerous to identify publicly as Jewish in Germany, including wearing a kippah, Germany’s commissioner on anti-Semitism said.
In a wide-ranging interview, Felix Klein told the Berliner Morgenpost on May 24 that he could not recommend that Jews wear a kippah everywhere and any time in Germany. He also said public servants must be better educated to combat anti-Semitism.
Recent government statistics show a 20 percent rise in the number of anti-Semitic crimes reported in the past year, with a total of about 1,800 in 2018. The vast majority of crimes for which a perpetrator or motive is known were attributed to the far-right wing.
In the controversial interview published in newspapers of the Funke Media Group, Klein – appointed to his position in the Interior Ministry last year – was asked about the safety of wearing the traditional Jewish head covering.
“My opinion has unfortunately changed on that point,” he answered. “I can’t recommend that Jews can wear a kippah everywhere and any time. Sad to say.”
He added that it was urgent that the government do a better job of preparing public servants: “There is a clear definition of anti-Semitism [the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance definition, which Germany adopted in 2017] and it must be taught in police academies. It also must be included in the training of teachers and lawyers.” Continue Reading….