Jewish leader: Attacks just like Hitler era

24th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 October 2006, Berlin (dpa) - The leader of Germany's Jewish community warned Tuesday that the rising number of neo-Nazi attacks recorded this year reminded her of the Hitler era. "Anti-Semitic and far-right attacks have reached a (level) and aggressiveness which reminds of the period after 1933," said Charlotte Knobloch, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews and a Holocaust survivor. Neo-Nazi crime in Germany has risen by about 20 percent this year in tandem with the increasing brutality of att

24 October 2006

Berlin (dpa) - The leader of Germany's Jewish community warned Tuesday that the rising number of neo-Nazi attacks recorded this year reminded her of the Hitler era.

"Anti-Semitic and far-right attacks have reached a (level) and aggressiveness which reminds of the period after 1933," said Charlotte Knobloch, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews and a Holocaust survivor.

Neo-Nazi crime in Germany has risen by about 20 percent this year in tandem with the increasing brutality of attacks by rightists, officials say.

"Those who speak of 'regrettable incidents' are glossing over a danger for the entire society," said Knobloch, adding: "It is not just a problem for Jewish citizens in our country."

Almost 8,000 neo-Nazi  crimes were reported during the first eight months of this year, compared with 6,605 for the same period in 2005, officials say.

Many of the extremist crimes have been in former communist eastern Germany with Saxony-Anhalt state drawing headlines after students at a school forced a youth to wear an anti-Semitic sign and another incident where a copy of Holocaust victim Anne Frank's diary was burned.

A total of 452 violent neo-Nazi attacks were reported in Germany from January to August of this year, leaving 325 people injured. For the same period in 2005, there were 363 attacks and 302 injuries.

"That the number of violent attacks has risen by a not inconsiderable number is causing concern," admitted the Federal Interior Ministry in a statement earlier this month.

The new figures show "the necessity of intensified measures being carried out by the ministry" against neo-Nazis, the statement said.

Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Verfassungsschutz, says about 40,000 people belong to far-right groups in the country, of whom over 10,000 are deemed to be violent skinheads. The total German population is 82 million.

The Jewish community in Germany has grown to about 110,000, up from 30,000 in 1989. The increase has been due to large numbers of Jews immigrating to Germany from the former Soviet Union.

Germany's Jewish community numbered about 600,000 before Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933.

Six million European Jews were murdered during the Nazi-organised Holocaust.

DPA

Subject: German news

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