Zentralrat President warns of antisemitism at event of the German Adult Education Association

President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) Josef Schuster spoke at an event hosted by the German Adult Education Association on the occasion of the “1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany” commemorative year.

At the event, Schuster said that Jews are confronted on a daily basis with antisemitism and even exposed to extreme forms such as the attack on the synagogue in Halle.

He also recalled that the rise of populism, the success of the AfD party and the anti Covid-19 demonstrations has fuelled antisemitic rhetoric.

Zentralrat President also emphasised that many Jews today do not dare to live their identity openly because of fear.

Schuster also denounced conspiracy narratives: “some of them seem medieval – as does the fact that Jews are sometimes made scapegoats for supposedly inexplicable things like the Corona pandemic”.

Schuster emphasised: “No one, no child, is born an antisemite. Since such rhetoric can already take place in schools, education must be the starting point: “We need enlightenment and education”.

Schuster pointed out that the memory of the Shoah must be kept alive.

At the same time, he said that “is important to convey that Jewish life is more than the Holocaust and the Middle East conflict, and that Jews have been an integral part of German Life for 1700 years. For this, it is essential to get to know Jews and their perspectives”.

According to Schuster, the Jewish community in Germany is playing an important role in the care and integration of refugees from Ukraine.

Jewish communities are currently taking care of numerous war refugees, including non-Jewish ones, said Schuster.

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