Study: German anti-Semitism still exists on ‘dangerous scale’

One-third agree at least in part with antisemitic statements, a new German study finds.

By David Isaac, World Israel News Staff

“Anti-Semitic thought patterns still exist on a dangerous scale,” in Germany, says Dr. Oliver Decker, co-author of a Leipzig University study presented in Berlin, Wednesday.

The report found that in western Germany, anti-Semitism continued to decline (2016: 5 per cent, 2018: 4.2 per cent). But in eastern Germany it has risen slightly (2016: 4.1 per cent, 2018: 5.2 per cent).

“Nevertheless, up to one-third of respondents agree at least in part with anti-Semitic statements,” Dr. Decker says .

“One in ten respondents explicitly agree with the statement ‘There is something special about Jews and they don’t really fit in with us,’ while a further 20 percent implicitly agree with it,” according to the report.

The study finds that xenophobia is on the rise in general in Germany. “Almost one in two respondents in eastern Germany agrees with certain xenophobic statements, for example that foreigners are exploiting the German welfare state or swamping the Federal Republic. In western Germany, too, almost one in three agree with these views,” the study reports.

The Leipzig Authoritarianism Study was carried out by Dr. Decker and Professor Elmar Brähler of the Competence Centre for Research into Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy at Leipzig University in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll and Otto Brenner Foundations.

Since 2002, Leipzig University researchers have been studying changes in authoritarian and far-right attitudes in Germany.