Germany to open antisemitism reporting center
Germany is launching an online site for victims to report antisemitic attacks, Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner for Jewish affairs, said Thursday.
Starting in February, a platform run by the federal Research and Information Center for Antisemitism (RAIS) will take accounts of antisemitic incidents from victims and witnesses regardless of whether they were criminal in nature.
“We cannot leave fighting antisemitism in this country to the Jews,” said Klein, who has been in office since May. He called upon German society to help prevent hatred towards Jews.
The reporting center will receive start-up funding of €243,000 ($278,320) in funds from 2019 and will be supported in the long-term by funds from Germany’s Ministry for Family Affairs.
The project intends to find partners in Germany’s 16 states to help victims of antisemitism. Federal infrastructure to that end will be set up in Bavaria, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia next year.
Daniel Botmann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the reporting center is necessary because police statistics exclude many non-criminal, antisemitic attacks. He said the initiative will be able to provide information of the development of antisemitism in Germany.
RIAS head Benjamin Steinitz said targeted hatred of Jews in Germany is an increasing problem. He said the RIAS office in Berlin currently records two to three cases per day. He assumes that there is a “considerably higher number of unreported cases” and said the reporting office “could shed light on the large dark field of antisemitic incidents and crimes.”