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Anti-semitism ingrained in German youth culture report finds

Posted on 27/01/2012

Anti-Jewish feelings are a serious problem in mainstream German society according to a report by nine experts including Professor Peter Longerich, from Royal Holloway, University of London.

The report, Anti-Semitism in Germany: Forms, conditions, prevention, was commissioned by German Parliament in an effort to combat racial hatred. The findings, which were presented to the German Government this week, included that as much as 20 per cent of the German population holds strongly anti-Semitic views and as much as 46 per cent of Germans think that Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.

“We knew that about 20 per cent of the population held anti-semitic views but we were surprised that so many thought that Jews make too much fuss over the Holocaust,” Professor Longerich said.

He explained that a more modern type of anti-semitism has emerged in which people feel that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are in their own country – a view held by 53 per cent of German’s and even 37 per cent of the British population.

Professor Longerich, from the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway, and the team of experts gathered anecdotal evidence from classrooms, political and religious associations, as well as analysing existing research and statistics.

They found that in Germany discrimination was ingrained in German culture, with youths even using the word ‘Jew’ as a derogatory name for someone and insults such as “you belong in Auschwitz”. 

Professor Longerich said: “Anti-semitism is deep-rooted in society and it is a long-term and expensive task to tackle it. We have made a number of recommendations to the German Government and now it is down to them to tackle the problem.”

He added: “We want to see institutions like the national football association, the church and the judiciary system to come together and assist each other in tackling these problems. We want them to create a forum so that people can tackle this discrimination and help to make long term change."


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