Merkel: Ongoing need to protect Jewish institutions ‘a disgrace’
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Merkel: Ongoing need to protect Jewish institutions ‘a disgrace’

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, German leader warns of rising anti-Semitism in country, calls to create position of anti-Semitism commissioner

German chancellor Angela Merkel looks on after addressing the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 24, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI)
German chancellor Angela Merkel looks on after addressing the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 24, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of rising anti-Semitism in her country on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling the need to protect Jewish buildings “a disgrace.”

It is important to remember the millions of Holocaust victims because recently, “anti-Semitism, racism, and the hatred of others are more relevant,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday.

She said that schools, which already teach about the country’s Nazi past, need to work harder at that, especially so immigrant students from Arab countries will not “exercise anti-Semitism.”

She called it “incomprehensible and a disgrace that no Jewish institution can exist without police security —whether it is a school, a kindergarten, or a synagogue.”

The chancellor also reaffirmed her support of creating the position of anti-Semitism commissioner in the next German government, if her party can finalize tortuous negotiations to forge a coalition.

The commissioner would be appointed to counter growing hate speech against Jews and Israel in German from both its home-grown far-right and some recent migrants in the Muslim community.

Israeli flags were burned in Berlin in December to protest the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The United Nations in 2007 designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to mark the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps.

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