Why did the Germans hate the Jews?

Anti-Semitism is widespread in Germany. 27 percent of all Germans and 18 percent of a population group categorized as "elite" harbor anti-Semitic thoughts, 41 percent of Germans are even of the opinion that Jews talked too much about the Holocaust. The new figures come from a representative survey by the World Jewish Congress, the umbrella organization for Jewish communities and organizations from more than 100 countries. The survey with 1,300 participants took place two and a half months ago, before the attack on the synagogue in Halle. Your result is now the Süddeutsche Zeitung in front.

Growing anti-Semitism is perceived by an overwhelming majority of the population and is associated with the success of right-wing extremist parties. 65 percent of Germans and 76 percent of the so-called elite recognize a connection.

The survey values ​​among university graduates with an annual income of at least 100,000 euros, who are described as elite in the study, are remarkable. 28 percent of them claim that Jews have too much power in the economy, 26 percent attest Jews "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. Twelve percent of all respondents say that Jews are responsible for most of the wars in the world. 22 percent say Jews are hated for their behavior.

While anti-Semitism is taking up a lot of space, the willingness to act against it is growing at the same time. Two thirds of the so-called elite would sign a petition against anti-Semitism, one third of all respondents would take to the streets against anti-Semitism. About 60 percent admit that Jews are exposed to a risk of violence or hateful verbal attacks.

The President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, commented on the study in drastic terms. Anti-Semitism has reached a point of crisis in Germany. "We saw what happens when common people looked away or kept silent," he said. "It is time for the whole of German society to take a stand and fight anti-Semitism head-on." Germany has a unique obligation to prevent the return of intolerance and hatred. If more than a quarter of society identified with anti-Semitism, then it was time for the remaining three quarters to defend democracy and tolerant societies.

In the survey, a third of those questioned admitted that Jews were not treated well in Germany. Nevertheless, only 44 percent expressed concern about violence against Jews or Jewish institutions. A quarter of those questioned thinks it is possible that "something like the Holocaust can happen again in Germany today". At least 38 percent consider a repetition risk in another European country to be possible.