Following a rise in anti-Semitic attacks across Germany, the country’s Jews have been warned by a leading government official not to wear traditional kippahs, yarmulkes, in all public settings.
Felix Klein, the German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, told the Funke media group Saturday: “My opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be. “I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany.”
His warning comes after the German government published figures that revealed a stark rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country. Data released by the interior ministry reveals that anti-Semitic hate crimes rose by nearly 20% from 2017-18, while the number of physical attacks against Jews increased from 37 in 2017 to 69 last year.
Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, has said that around 90% of the reported incidents were perpetrated by supporters of far-right groups.
“This is a development that we have to confront, especially in this country,” Seehofer told a press conference in May. “This is a job for the police as well as the whole society.”
Anti-semitic attacks are on the rise in a number of European countries, and a survey of Jewish people across the European Union carried out in December found 89% of Jews feel anti-semitism has increased in their country over the past decade, while 85% believed it to be a serious problem.