Survivors’ Group Lauds Germany For Plan To Fight Anti-Semitism


(JTA) — A U.S.-based group of Holocaust survivors is commending Germany on its determination to fight “deep-rooted” anti-Semitism at home.

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants in a statement issued Monday said they were deeply shaken by the extent of anti-Semitism” revealed in a 188-page report formally presented Monday to the Bundestag as Germany marks two important anniversaries – 70 years since the infamous Wannsee Conference, where the genocide was mapped out, and 67 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. But the survivors' group “commend[ed] the authorities for honestly exposing and confronting the scope of the problem.”

This first report by Germany's nine-member panel of experts, completed last November, indicated that about 20 percent of the German population holds strongly anti-Semitic views. “Anti-Semitism in Germany: Forms, conditions, prevention” examines the phenomenon not only in extreme right-wing, left-wing and Islamic extremist circles, but also in mainstream society.

The report also looks at best practices in combating the problem. The expert panel was established in mid-2009 by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and charged with reporting regularly on anti-Semitism and efforts to fight it in Germany.

Analyzing a wealth of recent studies, the report recommends that Germany invest more funds in programs to study and combat the problem.