Echoing comments already made by others, a senior member of Berlin’s Jewish community has said the “situation where Jews once again feel comfortable living in Germany” could now be in “jeopardy”.
It is estimated that this year Germany will see around a million migrants arrive, of which some 70,000 are said to be living in Germany’s “chronically broke” capital of Berlin, reports Deutsche Welle. Although the city largely embraces Germany’s ‘open door’ policy, German Jews are among the most vocal of those expressing concern.
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal of the Jewish community of Berlin (pictured right), says that both German authorities and members of the general public have done an “enormous amount” to help Germany’s Jewish Community “feel comfortable living in Germany” despite the history of their treatment in the Second World War. Noting that could now be in “jeopardy,” the American Rabbi described his recent experience of living in Berlin.
“The fact of the matter is that in recent weeks I have been more often than in the past cursed at or screamed at from passing cars, even in this very area here in the center of Berlin.
“It is sad and painful, especially when you are walking on the street with your nine-year-old daughter who is literally shocked to see such a thing and asks, ‘Daddy, what is that?'”
Rabbi Teichtal does say that one should not immediately “connect the dots” with Germany’s recent influx, but warns that incidents such as those he described add to the Jewish community’s fears their position in society is at risk.
He believes that in a worst case scenario Jews will no longer see Germany as the new safe haven it has managed to become in the post-war period, adding:
“Jews living here can only be guaranteed if Jewish people feel safe, if Jewish people don’t have to worry about walking around on the streets when they can be identified as Jews.”
From the description of Rabbi Teichtal’s synagogue given by Deutsche Welle you could be forgiven for thinking he has already lost his feeling of safety. Although it says “anti-Semitism of any kind is comparatively rare here” it points out that most of Berlin’s synagogues have armed guards. Rabbi Teichtal’s home synagogue on Münstersche Strasse goes even further:
Arriving at the synagogue is like arriving at an international airport. First, all bags, jewelry and coats must be put through a scanner. Next, under the watchful eye of two guards, guests are asked to walk through a full-body scanner. The less fortunate may be asked to go through several times, as various items of clothing trigger the proverbial alarm, before being granted entry. For many here these measures are more necessary now than any other time in living memory, the rabbi says.
As Breitbart London previously reported, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, had already warned Chancellor Angela Merkel that migrants from countries hostile to Israel may strengthen anti-Semitism in Europe, saying:
“Among those seeking asylum in Germany, a large number come from countries in which they hear about Israel the bogeyman. They have grown up with this hostility to Israel and often transfer their resentment to Jews in general.”
Not all of Germany’s Jews agree, however.
Deutsche Welle spoke with Judith Kessler, a member of the Jewish Community of Berlin group who came to Germany from Poland in 1972. She volunteers at refugee shelters and clothes collection sites and regularly takes groups of migrant children to zoos, films and parks. She and her husband have even helped one Syrian family find a home and decorate it, and payed for their German lessons.
“All Jews in this country are refugees of some description,” she said, “I don’t understand how we can’t help people who are in exactly the same situation, who are fleeing war or being murdered. I wouldn’t be alive if some country hadn’t taken us in…
“…The Jewish community is totally polarised between people who want to help and people who hate the influx and fear Islamisation.”