World

Thousands demonstrate in Berlin against antisemitism

Demonstrators in Berlin protest against antisemitism in Germany (Carsten Koall/dpa via AP)
Demonstrators in Berlin protest against antisemitism in Germany (Carsten Koall/dpa via AP) Demonstrators in Berlin protest against antisemitism in Germany (Carsten Koall/dpa via AP)

Several thousand people demonstrated against antisemitism in Berlin on Sunday as Germany grapples with a large increase in anti-Jewish incidents following Hamas’s attack on Israel two months ago.

Police estimated that around 3,200 people gathered in the rain in the German capital, while organisers put the figure at 10,000, German news agency dpa reported.

Participants in the protest, titled “Never again is now”, marched to the Brandenburg Gate.

A group tracking antisemitism in Germany said in late November that it had documented a drastic increase in antisemitic incidents in the month after Hamas’s attack – a total of 994, an increase of 320% compared with the same period a year earlier.

Germany’s main Jewish leader, Josef Schuster, said that “antisemitism is common practice in Germany in the middle of society,” and called for solidarity with Israel and with Jewish life in Germany.

Germany’s labour minister, Hubertus Heil, said that many decent people are too quiet on the issue.

“We don’t need a decent, silent majority — we need a clear and loud majority that stands up now, and not later,” he said.

The event had wide support, with the speaker of the German parliament and Berlin’s mayor also among its backers.