Germany giving over $40 million to fight antisemitism

BERLIN (AP) — The German government said Wednesday it will strengthen its battle against the quickly growing antisemitism in the country by investing 35 million euros ($41.5 million) into research and educational projects focused on understanding its causes and effectively fighting hatred of Jews.

Police registered 2,351 cases of antisemitism in Germany last year, which was an increase of 15% compared to the year before, officials reported.

“This is the highest number in the last couple of years,” German Education and Research Minister Anja Karliczek said. “There’s reason for worry that this is only the tip of the iceberg and that the unreported number of daily attacks on Jews is substantially higher.”

Karliczek said that the government wants to invest millions into researching the causes of antisemitism “because we need deep knowledge in order to be able to efficiently fight” it.

She said millions would be given to universities to examine the different facets of hatred against Jews and to develop strategies on what to best do against it. Various projects will focus on antisemitism in schools, in the German justice system or on the internet and social media.

Funds will also be given to hire junior scholars focusing on the topic and to support projects trying to educate the non-Jewish majority in the country about Jewish life, customs and religious rituals.

In a second step, scientists will be tasked to develop practical guidelines based on their findings to help teachers and others tackle the growing hatred.

“It is a shame that Jews feel threatened in our country,” the minister said. “Especially in view of our history, we have a special obligation to protect Jews and Jewish life in Germany.”

Six million European Jews were killed in the Holocaust, the German-orchestrated genocide during World War II.

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