Berlin: Anti-Semitism forces Jewish teen from school

A Jewish student was forced to leave school following anti-Semitic harassment by Muslim peers. 

A Jewish teen from Berlin changed high schools to escape anti-Semitic tormenting.

The Jewish Chronicle and German media reported the teen,14, was harassed for months by students of Arab and Turkish descent after they discovered he was Jewish.

The teenager was subjected to verbal abuse, as well as physical assaults, which included grabbing and threats with a realistic-looking toy gun pointed to his head.

“Listen, you are a cool dude but I can’t be friends with you,” the newspaper quoted one of his former classmates. “Jews are all murderers.”

“It was terrible, but I didn’t have time to think what’s happening at the time,” the teen told the Chronicle. “Now when I look back, I think, oh my God.”

The newspaper wrote that the case “illustrates a long history of anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish pupils, particularly by Arab and Turkish children.”

The school participates in the pro-tolerance initiative “Schools Without Racism – Schools With Courage,” Germany’s Deutsche Welle reported.

The school’s directorship said it was “distressed” by the incident.

“We’d like to express our regret and horror that a student was forced to experience anti-Semitism in his everyday school life,” the school stated. “We are losing an especially active and high-achieving student who chose our school with joy and saw it as an opportunity to further his development.”

The school invited the teen’s grandparents, Holocaust survivors, to talk to his class after the incident.

The school said it was reporting the abusive students to the police and this was the first time it had been confronted with anti-Semitism.

“After the first incident, we addressed it,” school principal Uwe Runkel told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper. “Now, unfortunately, we no longer have the chance to convince the boy that he’s safe here. But we’ll continue to address this issue, and the perpetrators will face consequences.”

In May last year, the Deutschlandfunk radio station recorded students from Muslim backgrounds at one Berlin school saying things like: “If a Jew enters our school, he’ll get beaten up – I’d beat him up too.”

The Chronicle quoted Aaron Eckstaedt, principal of the Moses Mendelssohn Jewish High School in Berlin, saying “six to 10” parents annually move their children to the Jewish school to escape anti-Semitic harassment.

There are no official statistics on anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin schools, although the Research and Information Office on Anti-Semitism in Berlin recorded 470 such incidents in Berlin last year.

By: World Israel News Staff