Report shows 80% rise in antisemitic cases in Germany, with sharp increase after Oct. 7

Communal leader says last year’s jump from 2022 figures makes many Jews in Germany worry about whether they can live safely there in the future

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

A police vehicle stands in front of the synagogue in the city center of Oldenburg, Germany, after an incendiary device was thrown at its door. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa via Getty Images via JTA
A police vehicle stands in front of the synagogue in the city center of Oldenburg, Germany, after an incendiary device was thrown at its door. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa via Getty Images via JTA

Antisemitic incidents occurred in Germany at an average rate of 13 cases per day last year, according to a new report that recorded 4,782 such incidents in 2023, constituting an 80% increase over the previous year.

The organization’s report on 2023 said that more than half of the incidents happened after October 7, when Hamas terrorists perpetrated the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history, murdering some 1,200 people in Israel and abducting another 251.

The report was published Tuesday by the RIAS watchdog group, a Berlin-based nongovernmental association with government funding that activists and scholars established in 2018 following increases in antisemitic incidents.

One of the incidents recorded was the mid-October attack on a synagogue in Berlin. Another involved flares thrown at a Jewish family’s home in North Rhine-Westphalia.

“On average, 13 antisemitic incidents were recorded per day,” RIAS noted in the report.

Jewish life “has become even less possible in Germany as well since October 7,” said Benjamin Steinitz, the director of RIAS, or Federal Association of Departments for Research and Information on Antisemitism, in a statement on the report.

Traces of fire can be seen on a synagogue entrance door damaged by an incendiary device in Oldenburg, Germany, April 5, 2024. (Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa via AP)

Israel’s ongoing military operation in Gaza to dismantle Hamas and secure the release of the hostages has caused the deaths of some 38,000 Palestinians, according to unverified statistics by the health ministry in Gaza, which Hamas runs. The data does not distinguish between civilians and terrorists.

As Palestinian casualties mount, a wave of antisemitic incidents and assaults has been unfolding across Western Europe and elsewhere.

The RIAS statistics have a significantly higher tally than the one compiled by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, which counted only 3,614 antisemitic incidents in Germany in 2023.

A German police officer stands guard in front of the synagogue in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 8, 2023. (Michael Probst/AP)

Police can only register incidents that constitute a crime whereas RIAS employs the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of antisemitism definition to screen reports.

“Hostility, assault, and a feeling of constant threat are a reality for many Jews,” Daniel Botmann, the managing director of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement about the report.

“Many are also worried about whether a free and safe life as Jews in Germany will be possible in the future,” he said. “Jewish community life can only take place under conditions of maximum security. Antisemitic ideology spans from the far left to the far right and into the middle of society. Only if we name this with complete clarity can we fight against it.”

Most Popular
read more: