Jews should feel comfortable with a kippah in everyday life, demands Federal President Steinmeier. On the anniversary of Pogrom Night, he commemorates the fight against anti-Semitism – and praises the authorities.
On the anniversary of the Pogrom Night, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for consistent action against anti-Semitism in Germany. He was ashamed that Jews wearing a kippah did not feel safe on the streets in this country and that Jewish places of worship needed to be protected, Steinmeier said, according to a previously distributed translation of a video message to his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin. “I’m ashamed that a fatal attack on the synagogue in Halle a year ago on Yom Kippur was prevented only by a heavy wooden door.” He stressed, “We must act.”
Steinmeier: Authorities are taking up their responsibilities
Steinmeier said he was grateful “that the authorities in Germany are fulfilling their responsibilities by increasing police protection for synagogues and prosecuting anti-Semitic crimes with all the rigors of the law.” According to the office of the federal president, the video message will be shown during a memorial event in Israel on pogrom night on Monday (4 p.m. CET).
During the November pogroms on the night of 9-10 November 1938, National Socialists set fire to synagogues, Jewish shops and apartments all over Germany, and assaulted, kidnapped and murdered Jewish civilians.
“Disgusting Outbreak of Violence”
The November pogroms “were a disgusting outbreak of violence that followed years of discrimination, intimidation and hostility. They foreshadowed the incredible crimes of the Shoah that my countrymen would commit a few years later,” Steinmeier said. “And they are a powerful warning to us today.”
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) also warned that no one should shrug, even though there is almost daily anti-Semitic unrest and violence on the net or in the street. “To remember means to draw the right conclusions for yesterday’s today and tomorrow,” he said according to a speech distributed in advance of a digital exhibition opened by the United Nations and the Center for Persecuted Arts. Many of the conspiracy myths surrounding the Corona crisis made it clear: “Even today, anti-Semitism is not just a phenomenon of the far-right peripheries. It reaches the center of our society.”