Poll Finds That a Third of Germans Blame Jews for Their Own Persecution

A half-century after the Nazis embarked on the “Final Solution,” 32 percent of Germans believe that Jews themselves are at least partly to blame for being persecuted and hated by others.

That is one of the findings of a public opinion poll published Monday by the Hamburg-based weekly Der Spiegel.

Of the 3,000 respondents, 36 percent thought Jews have too much influence in the world.

Asked about their sympathies for Jews, 38 percent indicated neither positive nor negative feelings. Poll analyst Klaus-Peter Schoeppner suggested that “among those (polled) are some who shied away from revealing their negative views.”

The poll was conducted as a run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the gathering of top Nazis at a villa in a Berlin suburb on Jan. 20, 1942, which set the Holocaust into motion.

A parallel poll was conducted among 1,000 Israelis. Its results indicate that Germans are not well liked in the Jewish state.

A majority felt a full reconciliation with Germany is impossible and that Germans are as obnoxious as Palestinians.

Among the German respondents, 76 percent said Israel is like any other state to them; 62 percent believed it is time to put the Nazi past behind them; and more than 40 percent said Germans no longer have special obligations to Jews.

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