German researcher and historian Günther Jikeli has made a report laying out his findings that anti-Semitic attitudes are common among asylum seekers arriving in the country, with many beleiving in anti-Jewish conspiracies.
His claims come as the federal government’s Facebook page was inundated with anti-Semitic messages this week.
Mr Jikeli interviewed 68 asylum seekers on behalf of the American Jewish Committee and found that many new arrivals believed in anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and questioned whether Israel had a right to exist German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk reports.
“The stereotypes that we found most often were those of the rich Jews, and what we’ve found very often is not just conspiracy theories – that Jews supposedly rule the world – but a conspiracy-theoretical thinking structure,” Jikeli said.
The historian also claimed that asylum seekers had little knowledge of the Holocaust saying, “Many are quite willing to learn more in integration courses and are shocked by what they learn but there are also some who explicitly said, ‘That was good, Jews were murdered.’ ”
The Facebook page of the German federal government was also inundated with anti-semitic messages this week following protests against the U.S. decision to move their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the country’s capital which saw some protestors burning Israeli flags.
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Many of the comments were overtly anti-Semitic like that of Murat Ulusoy from Frankfurt who wrote, “Zionism = Greatest Crime ever encountered by humanity!” Ulusoy also called the Holocaust a “lie” which is a criminal offence in Germany.
Emre Cakmak from Plettenberg made a similar comment writing, “I really miss Adolf he knew from the beginning that the Jews are a filthy people.”
Many other comments claimed they were “anti-Zionist” and not anti-semitic but all comments were up on the government Facebook page for 24 hours before some were eventually deleted.
After being made aware of the comments by German paper Die Welt, a spokeswoman for the Federal Press Office said, “The comments you have pointed out to us have been erased and reported to the police.”
Antisemitism has been rising in Germany in recent years with many members of the Jewish community claiming a rise in violent attacks by Islamic extremists.
While the government has publicly denounced the recent antisemitic protests, including one earlier this week which called for an Intifada against Israel, some, like fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld and German police union boss Rainer Wendt, have blamed the mass migration policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel for the rise in antisemitic incidents.