BERLIN, Germany — German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on German citizens to help fight anti-Semitism ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The comments by the German leader came as countries around the world were set to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day Sunday — 75 years after the Soviet army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland.
“Today we are seeing a very different kind of anti-Semitism: there’s the hatred of Jews by our local people, but also by Muslim migrants,” Merkel said Saturday in a video address.
“People who are growing up today must know what people were capable of in the past. And we must work actively to make sure that it is never repeated,” she said.
Merkel also called for new types of memorials to be created to cater to younger generations who may not be as familiar with the Nazi’s atrocities, such as “stumbling block” pavers to commemorate the former homes of Jews and other initiatives.
“They are very important and will become more important in the future,” she said.
In recent years, Germany has seen a rising number of often violent attacks against Jews which led the government to appoint a commissioner against anti-Semitism. It’s also funding the creation of a national registration office for anti-Semitic hate crimes.
A survey released by CNN last year found anti-Semitic attitudes in over one-fifth of Europeans polled, while over a third admitted that they knew nothing at all or “just a little” about the Holocaust.